(DailyVantage.com) – Police in Garland, Texas, are crediting genealogical DNA for helping them solve a 37-year-old murder case, NBC5 in Dallas-Fort Worth reported. Liborio Canales, 85, was arrested in New Mexico last week and charged with murdering his sister-in-law, Barbara Villareal, in Garland, Texas, in 1986.
Canales was booked into Lea County Detention Center last Tuesday awaiting extradition on a federal warrant for murder after evidence, including blood from the suspect, along with DNA genealogy, tied Canales to the 37-year-old cold case.
Villareal’s body was discovered by Garland police on November 7, 1986. She had been stabbed multiple times with a large kitchen knife that was found near her body. Villareal’s husband told police that he heard his wife’s screams, and when he entered the room, he saw intruders attacking her. He was initially interviewed but was cleared of the crime.
Garland Detective Lucus Shupe told NBC5 that the responding officers found blood at the scene that did not belong to the victim. But when the blood did not come back to her husband, the case went cold.
Shupe said that in recent years, the Garland police have been able to submit blood samples for DNA genealogy typing. The results provided enough evidence to obtain an arrest warrant in New Mexico for Liborio Canalas. The popularity of ancestry and genealogical databases has been a boon to cold-case detectives, allowing them to solve long-cold cases by triangulating the identities of murder suspects through their family relationships.
With the help of the Lovington Police Department, Garland detectives went to New Mexico and arrested Villareal’s brother-in-law. According to Detective Shupe, when he was questioned by police, Canales admitted that he killed his sister-in-law over a family dispute.
Canales moved to Lovington, New Mexico, in the years after the murder. Then last year, he left for Mexico only to return last Monday to visit family on his birthday, according to the Dallas Morning News.
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