DNA from cigarette butt helps police find suspect from 2014 murder

DNA from a discarded cigarette butt helped authorities find the alleged gunman three-year-old murder case in Chicago, prosecutors said on Thursday at a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago.

Chicago Tribune reports that the murder occurred in October 2014 in an alley off of Chicago’s East 44th Street. Torrence Pickens, 40, was shot multiple times and died from his injuries. According to witnesses, Pickens was hanging out, drinking, and smoking with known gang members in the area when the incident occurred.

Jeffery Freeman, 24, part of a group of rival gang members, showed up to the area where Pickens was at. Freeman was reportedly directed to go “check out” Pickens since he was in the other gang’s “territory.” Surveillance video caught Freeman walking towards Pickens with a gun. As he approached a car the victim was sitting in, Freeman tossed a cigarette but to the ground before he opened fire.

Detectives found the cigarette butt and sent it to a police crime lab for analyzation and extraction. They found a human DNA match to Freeman. Further, a witness identified Freeman as the shooter while looking through a batch of photos.

Freeman is charged with one count of first-degree. He’s currently behind bars on a $1 million bail.

Check back with Crime Online as additional updates become available.

[Feature Photo: Chicago PD]