DNA match leads to arrest of Phoenix-area man for 1988 murder

(Photo: MCSO)

PHOENIX — A man who reported finding a woman’s dead body in the desert near Phoenix decades ago is now charged with killing her.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, 55-year-old Donald Lee Scott of Glendale was arrested Friday in the December 1988 killing of Ann Marie Levee.

The arrest, according to law enforcement, stemmed from a DNA match.

The sheriff’s office said in a press release that Scott said he first found the body of an unidentified female in the area of 99th Avenue and Carefree Highway on Dec. 10, 1988.

Scott then led deputies to the body, was questioned and released from the scene.

When authorities were conducting the autopsy, they found multiple gunshot wounds and other injuries. They were eventually able to identify the body using fingerprints.

The case then stalled until 2003, when biological evidence was re-submitted to the Arizona Department of Public Safety crime lab and a DNA profile was entered into the Combined DNA Index System.

In 2014, Scott was convicted of aggravated harassment. Due to his conviction, a DNA sample was taken and entered into the Combined DNA Index System.

A match between Scott’s DNA and biological evidence recovered in 1988 from Levee’s body was identified in December of last year. According to a probable cause statement, Scott’s DNA sample matched semen found at the scene.

Scott was arrested on Friday and was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on one count of first-degree murder and one count of sexual assault. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bond.

Court records don’t list an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.