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DNA match leads to arrest in 2016 Phoenix murder

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — Metro Phoenix investigators said Monday they cracked a four-year-old homicide case using DNA technology.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office arrested 60-year-old Tony Tyrone Reed on Friday and charged him with second-degree murder after connecting him to the scene of a 2016 shooting death.

“The success of identifying a suspect in this investigation demonstrates the professional collaboration and hard work between the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said in a press release.

On Nov. 9, 2016, MCSO responded to a call about a dead body in the area of 107th and Southern avenues. Deputies found the remains of Sabrina Rollins, 39, after arriving on scene.

Rollins had been released from the Lower Buckeye Jail less than two days before her body was discovered, according to police.

The Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner ruled Rollins died from gunshot wounds and submitted a sexual assault kit to the Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory. The lab developed a male profile from the DNA contained in the kit, but were unable to identify a suspect.

Last April, a familial DNA analysis — a search of the Arizona DNA arrestee and convicted offender database for a potential relative of the unidentified suspect — was conducted. Through the familial DNA results, Reed was connected to the crime.

Reed denied any involvement in the murder when contacted by authorities. Detectives later obtained a DNA sample through a search warrant. Reed’s DNA was a match with a sample collected at the crime scene.

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