Using DNA matching technology, cold case squad investigators have identified a suspect in a 1972 slaying and a 1985 rape. But no charges will be filed because the suspect died in prison in 2001, Suffolk County prosecutors and Boston Police said today.
"This development demonstrates that although sometimes justice may be delayed, with dogged detective work, dedicated prosecutors and highly-skilled crime lab technicians, justice does not have to be denied," Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said in a statement.
In 2002, Sumpter was identified in the 1985 case as part of a project to re-examine unsolved sex assaults using DNA evidence. In 2005, members of Rutchick's family asked the cold case squad to see if her case could be reviewed, prosecutors said.
Rutchick had also been sexually assaulted and detectives sent biological evidence from the crime scene to a laboratory. In July 2009, the DNA from the scene was matched with DNA information from Sumpter held in the FBI's Combined DNA Index System, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley's office said.
"Were Sumpter alive today, we would indict him for murder and expect to prevail at trial," Conley said in a statement. "The Boston Police investigation was thorough 38 years ago and the scientific evidence is very strong today."
Sumpter died of cancer while serving a 15- to 20-year sentence for a third crime: the rape of a woman at her Beacon Street residence in 1975.
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