Posted: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 5:16 pm | Updated: 6:26 pm, Wed Feb 13, 2013.
By: Ty Wilson | WTXL.Com
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) – Tallahassee police solve a murder more than eight years after the crime took place. Investigators say the victim was strangled, beaten and sexually assaulted.
Police say a forensic method for analyzing DNA lead them to the man they arrested.
Investigators say Touch DNA was key to helping them solve the crime.
It’s been nearly a decade since seventy year old Delia McMillen was found dead in a parking lot on West Tennessee Street. Her killer never brought to justice.
Phil Hinds is a homicide investigator for the Tallahassee Police Department. Hinds spends his time trying to solve cold cases like this one.
Phil Hinds says, “I had actually met the victim before. When I worked on the road. I always wondered what happened to her and the circumstances of the case. So I pulled this case out and started looking at it.”
Hinds says the latest Touch DNA technology is helping them solve crimes.
Hinds says, “Touch DNA is left behind by simply touching an item leaving their skin cells on an item.”
Hinds looked at the evidence. He sent the shorts Delia Hinds was wearing when she was killed to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Police say DNA linked 55-year old Willie Watson to the murder. Watson’s DNA was already in the system because of a prior arrest.
Delia’s relative Maxine McPhaul is happy an arrest was made.
Maxine McPhaul says, “It is actually a certain sense of closure. Because it has always been unfinished business.”
Willie Watson is currently behind bars facing a life sentence for sexual battery on a sixty-five year old victim.
He faces a first degree murder charge after being indicted by a Leon County Grand jury.