I read this story yesterday and I'm still banging my head against the wall:
A 35-year-old murder mystery deepened Friday as a State Police scientist testified that DNA from two people was found on the body of a slain University of Michigan law student. One DNA sample was traced to the man charged with killing Jane Mixer in 1969 and the other to someone who was 4 years old at the time and who grew up to brutally murder his own mother.
Stephen Milligan, a DNA analyst for the Michigan State Police, said he found three samples of Gary Leiterman's DNA on Jane Mixer's pantyhose. Leiterman, 62, of Gobles was charged with open murder in Mixer's death in November after State Police matched his DNA sample with DNA from stains on Mixer's pantyhose.
But Milligan, testifying in Leiterman's preliminary examination in Washtenaw County Circuit Court, said he also found DNA from a Jackson man in blood on the back of the dead woman's left hand. Investigators have not been able to explain how John David Ruelas, who is now 40, may be connected to Mixer's murder.
Sgt. Eric Schroeder told Leiterman's attorney, Gary Gabry, that he interviewed a number of people after discovering Ruelas' DNA match and could find no link to Mixer or Leiterman.
"Ruelas is a circumstance we need to explain," said Assistant Washtenaw County Prosecutor Steve Hiller.
Um, yeah. That's putting it mildly. I'm just wondering why the defense isn't jumping down people's throats that this type of "mysterious evidence" shows that it nullifies Leiterman's match. Because does this ever smack of contamination issues. Surely someone, when the Ruleas match was confirmed, went through the chain of custody logs to figure out exactly where Mixer's blood from her left hand had been kept at all times since 1969?
Or better yet, probably that chain of custody got broken several times along the way. Because I'm just not buying that a 4 year old would take a walk near Mixer's body, reach down and touch her bloody hand, and walk away--and then grow up to murder his mother.
Not that coincidences can't happen but that's quite a stretch.