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DNA Nabs New York Serial Killer

By January 24, 2012

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DNA has identified another cold case serial killer. More than a decade later, the cases of three murdered women have been linked to a prisoner serving a drunk driving conviction who was up for parole after volunteering a DNA sample. Instead, he was sentenced last week to 75 years to life in prison.

Until he submitted his DNA, Francisco Acevedo wasn't even a suspect in the Yonkers, New York murders.

No Probation for Acevedo

The 43-year-old Acevedo routinely submitted his DNA as a part of his parole application process. His DNA sample was taken in 2009 and entered into the federal Codis database where it was later matched to evidence taken from all three murders.

Prosecutor Janet DiFiore, with the Westchester County, New York District Attorney's office, said instead of getting parole, Acevedo was charged with the murders of Maria Ramos in 1989, Tawanda Hodges in 1991, and Kimberly Moore in 1996. All three women were raped, beaten and strangled.

Officials Want Database Expanded

This case evoked calls for expansion of the state's DNA database to track even more criminals. Currently in New York anyone convicted of felonies, violent crimes and larceny must submit their DNA, The exception are low level misdemeanors. Gov. Andrew Cuomo as well as many law enforcement agencies would like to see the collection of DNA for all convicted criminals.

The New York state's database was created in 1996 and has contributed in more than 2,700 convictions and 27 exonerations. The state's Division of Criminal Justice Services maintains more than 410,000 convicted offender profiles.

In 2011, DNA evidence led to suspects in at least five rape and murder cases, one of which dated back to the 1970's. Officials match leads with the DNA database but could not say how often breakthroughs occur with cold cases.

See Also:
Serial Killer Discovered With DNA Evidence

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