JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Over 2 years ago a woman was found dead in her front yard from a gunshot and yesterday police made an arrest thanks to DNA evidence left at the scene.
"I remember going out to that scene that early morning and we really had nothing except for that DNA evidence," says Lt. Rob Schoonover with JSO's homicide unit.
Schoonover says two days ago a hit through the FBI’s national DNA bank CODIS turned up 25-year-old Andre Jenkins, who was arrested and charged with 48-year-old Delilah King's murder yesterday. He isn’t talking and denies killing King, being in the area at the time of the murder, and even knowing her. In addition to a used condom found next to King's body in front of her home on Oaklane Drive, police say they had information that King was a prostitute on the Westside, but Jenkins denied having sex with any prostitutes outside of strip clubs.
The used condom gave police a DNA profile on an unidentified black male but they say there was almost no other evidence to use. It was determined that King died from a gunshot wound to the head and a .45 caliber class metal jacketed bullet, which the police report says is commonly encountered in .45 caliber auto firearms by Star, Tanfoglio, and Taurus. There was also surveillance footage of a dark colored sedan, which police believed at the time may have been an older Saturn, leaving the area right after the victim was killed.
So how did they make the link between the DNA and Jenkins? Lt. Schoonover says Jenkins was arrested in Georgia six days after the May 2011 murder on drug charges and when he was convicted of a felony in June of last year his DNA went into the national database which eventually led police to find him. Schoonover says it does sometimes take a while for police to link DNA to a certain suspect in the national database.
Before his arrest and conviction in June 2012 Jenkins had no prior arrests, although he did have run-ins with the police, including a traffic stop in December 2010. At the time he was driving a 2002 black Saturn four door, the same car he was driving when he was arrested in Georgia. The report says Jenkins also had a silver and black .45 caliber Taurus handgun, which he told police he sold to a stranger at a rest stop after he was convicted of a felony in June 2012.
Jenkins did have warrants out for his arrest in the Jacksonville area on local drug charges.