DNA helps catch killer*

Brian Day will have a great story in Sunday’s paper about how investigators using DNA evidence caught up with a man who killed a Baldwin Park couple 22-years-ago as they slept:

From Brian’s story, which we slugged COLDCASE:

Twenty-two years after a Baldwin Park couple was fatally stabbed by intruders as they slept in their bed, DNA left at the scene pointed to one of their killers.

Martin Talavera, 44, was convicted earlier this month of the stabbing deaths of Sylvester Flood, 74, and his fiance, Peggy Johnson, 61, in their home in the 4800 block of Elizabeth Street on Jan. 10, 1986*, said Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich, who prosecuted the case in court.

Flood was pronounced dead at the scene, and Johnson died 14 months after the incident from injuries determined to be related to the attack, Mrakich said. Johnson was also raped her during the ordeal.

“It was just a horrific, brutal crime,” Mrakich said, adding that Flood’s face was filled with “that horrible gaze of fear” and his hands were still held up in front of him as if to defend himself against his attacker in crime scene photographs.”

I’ll have some crime scene photos posted up here Sunday.

*As you see I’ve changed the date from ’96 to ’86

Brian’s story is now online. Here’s a link.

I posted the first few paragraphs of the story up here as I was editing it Friday night. So there are some structural changes. See the comparison and the photos on the jump.



11457-bloodydress-thumb-300x240.jpg

POMONA – Twenty-two years after a Baldwin Park couple was fatally stabbed as they slept, DNA left at the scene pointed to one of their killers.

Martin Talavera, 44, was convicted earlier this month of the stabbing deaths of Sylvester Flood, 74, and his fiance, Peggy Johnson, 61.

Talavera, a Mexican national, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Aug. 15 in Pomona Superior Court.

“He’s breathed the free air,” Los

11459-bloodydress2-thumb-300x200.jpg

Angeles County prosector Stefan Mrakich said. “But luck always runs out. You never commit a perfect crime.”

The couple were slain at their home in the 4800 block of Elizabeth Street on Jan. 10, 1986, said Mrakich, the deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case.

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY LOS ANGELES COUNTY DAs OFFICE.  

11462-bloodydress3-thumb-300x200-thumb-300x200.jpg

Photo #1 shows the victim’s bloody dress.

Photo #2 is Sylvester Flood and unidentified woman.

Photo#3 shows the home where the slaying occurred.

 

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  • JW

    I am not very good at math but I do not think that 1996 was 22 years ago. Should it be 1986?

  • Renee Jackson

    I would like to try and obtain a job as a proofreader working from home (if possible) for your newspaper.

    I have taken the SGVT paper for
    over 20 years off and on.

    I have noticed several typos in the entire paper over and over again.

    My dad was an editor and proof reader for the L.A. Times when I was a kid and he taught me everything I know. I am very good at proofing. My boss has me proof everything she does before it goes to print.

    Could you please tell me how I can get information for a home based proofing job.

    I have references.

    Thank you
    Renee Jackson
    cell # 909-762-1446 if I don’t answer, please
    leave a message

  • http://www.proctorformayor.com AP

    Hooray for DNA.

  • John

    Baldwin Park is a S…..t hole! Having worked there I can attest to the fact that it’s residents are NOT of the highest quality (most not all), and they have no pride in their community. It’s been that way for decades. The city council is too involved in fighting among themselves, and personal agendas to administer to the overwhelming problems their city faces with gangs, drugs, illegals, and a dwindling budget. They can’t keep police officers on a long term basis who bail out after their probation is complete. The list goes on.