Dallas police and FBI used DNA from discarded water bottles to link man to 38-year-old homicide

A 38-year-old man suspected of killing an aspiring model in a homicide case has been arrested after Dallas police and the FBI searched his trash last month and subdued his discarded water and soda bottles for DNA testing, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained Monday.

Edward Morgan, 60, was arrested on February 18 for capital murder in the murder of Mary Jane Thompson. His attorney, Sherrod Edwards, declined to comment on Monday.

Edward Morgan(AP)

Thompson, a 21-year-old aspiring model who worked at a flower shop and restaurant, was last seen on February 11, 1984, when she took a bus to Trinity Medical Clinic on what was then Industrial Boulevard. . The center turned out to be closed.

She was found two days later strangled with her own leggings behind a warehouse in the 2300 block of Irving Boulevard in the Stemmons hallway.

Police found a training bag that Thompson was known to carry in a nearby shed, and a trail of his clothing extending about 50 yards, the affidavit states. His pants appeared to have been cut from his body, according to the affidavit.

Her body had a bite wound and bruises, and the autopsy showed she had been sexually assaulted, according to the affidavit. His family repeatedly requested updates on his case, but the matter remained cold until this year, the affidavit states.

Dallas police reopened the case in 2009 after Thompson’s family requested an update. DNA from the sexual assault kit, which had never been tested, was analyzed and entered into a system, but the swab matched an unknown male DNA profile, the affidavit states.

The body of 21-year-old Mary Jane Thompson was found behind a warehouse on Irving Boulevard...
The body of Mary Jane Thompson, 21, was found behind a warehouse on Irving Boulevard in Dallas’ Stemmons Hallway two days after she went missing in 1984.

Thompson’s family contacted again in 2017 and police reopened the case again so they could use new DNA testing techniques such as those who identified California’s infamous Golden State Killer.

Two years later, police uploaded a sample to a genetic genealogy database, and last month a genetic family tree was created which pointed to Morgan as a possible suspect.

The FBI then monitored Morgan’s home in West Dallas – where he lived alone – for a week. On February 15, an FBI special agent and a Dallas police detective seized trash Morgan had dumped outside his home, and authorities sent two bottles of water and a bottle of soda to a lab for testing. forensic tests.

Three days later, the DNA matched the samples from the sexual assault kit.

Selena Tomasello, Thompson’s sister, writes on facebook after Morgan’s arrest that she had been waiting for this call from the authorities for 38 years. She said her sister was “looking down” and “glad they finally got it”.

Morgan remained in the Dallas County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond on Monday.

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