Murder of two young women solved by spit found on sidewalk
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Featured Image Credit: LAPD/ABC7 Los Angeles
The murder of two young women was solved after some spit on the sidewalk linked the same man to the crime scenes.
On 24 April, 2011, 17-year-old Michelle Lozano went missing and her body was found the next day near the Interstate 5 highway, California.
And then, in late December of that same year, 22-year-old Bree’Anna Guzman disappeared, with her body being found about a month later dumped near the Glendale Freeway.
Both of the victims were sexually assaulted and murdered, and it was several years before police were able to track down and identify the killer.
Police finally tracked down Geovanni Borjas and were able to tie him to the crime scenes after he spit on a sidewalk and DNA testing provided the link the investigation had needed.
DNA had been recovered from both crime scenes in 2011 but not found a match with anyone on the national crime database.
As reported by the New York Post, the police decided to use a 'controversial' DNA testing technique known as 'familial DNA testing'.
This meant they were able to use the DNA samples they had from the crime scene to identify possible relatives, and they ended up identifying Borjas' father.
Detectives then followed Borjas and collected some of his DNA in the form of his spit from the sidewalk, which turned out to be a match for the evidence they'd collected from the scenes of the murder years previously, he was arrested in 2017.
This is only the second case where the LAPD have used familial DNA testing has been used to track down a killer, the first being part of the investigation which caught serial killer Lonnie Franklin Jr, dubbed the 'Grim Sleeper', in 2010.
According to the LA county district attorney, Borjas pleaded no contest to the first-degree murders and sexual assaults of the two women, along with one count of kidnapping.
He is expected to receive his final sentencing on 12 December and is likely to receive life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
George Gascón, Los Angeles county district attorney, spoke of the terrible loss the families of the victims had suffered.
He said: "Both families have endured a tremendous and incalculable loss.
"The pain for the victims’ families will never go away but I want to make sure they continue to receive the services they need as they move forward."
"Mr. Borjas finally took account for his heinous actions and is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison. I also want to thank the investigators and prosecutors in this case and recognize their hard work that led to today’s result."