ARKANSAS CITY, Ark. (AP) - An investigator has delivered samples from the pets of a murder suspect to a lab in California to see if a DNA analysis will link the animals to pet hair found on a 17-year-old girl who was killed in August.
"I wanted those hairs analyzed," Prosecutor Thomas Deen said.
"I'm not going to leave any stone unturned."
Casey Crowder of Pine Bluff was killed on Aug. 27 after she
disappeared after running out of gas along U.S. 65. Her body was found on Sept. 2. Kenneth Ray Osburn, 46, is charged with capital murder and kidnapping. He was arrested Sept. 28 in McGehee.
Investigators said Osburn owned several dogs and Deen said he wants the tests to see if the hair found on Crowder's clothing came from Osburn's animals.
An investigator dropped off the samples to the University of
California, Davis, last week for testing at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory there, Deen said. Deen said money from his office and from the FBI will pay for the tests.
Osburn is undergoing a mental-health evaluation and is to appear in court Nov. 27. Trial is set to start May 1, though that date could change.
Deen said he expects results from the DNA tests back before the end of next month.
Though analysis of human DNA often is a subject in court, Deen said it is uncommon for animal DNA analysis to be presented as evidence.
"We've never had an occasion to use, or attempt to use, animal DNA," Deen said.
Deen would not discuss the nature of the samples. A court
document in Desha County shows investigators collected six swabs from the cheeks of animals and sent hair samples from the animals.
A separate court document reveals details of the investigation into where Osburn was before the killing.
Surveillance cameras at a fast-food restaurant show Osburn drove south on U.S. 65 about three minutes after Crowder used a cell phone at 6:39 a.m., The cameral also showed Osburn driving back north a little less than three minutes later.
A camera at a retailer on U.S. 165 recorded Osburn driving east at 6:46 a.m.. Crowder's body was found about six miles east of Dumas.
An arrest affidavit shows police saw numerous scratches and
"faint abrasions" on Osburn's chest, elbows and knees. Osburn said he was playing rough with his dogs.
The affidavit says a witness saw Osburn driving on U.S. 165 with someone who was "slumped down and laid over toward the passenger window." Police say the highway is the most direct route to Buckshot Road, right near where Crowder's body was found in a ditch.
nformation from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)