DNA Links Cold Case Suspect to Victim, Prosecutors Say

Cook County Judge James Brown ordered Rene Valentin-Matos held without bail

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    DNA recovered from the body of Jahmeshia Conner is a partial match to that of the man accused of killer her five years ago, prosecutors said in court Thursday. (Published Thursday, May 8, 2014)

    DNA recovered from the body of Jahmeshia Conner is a partial match to that of the man accused of killing her five years ago, prosecutors said in court Thursday.

    Hearing the evidence, Cook County Judge James Brown ordered Rene Valentin-Matos held without bail.

    Valentin-Matos, 47, was arrested this week in Minnesota in connection with Conner's 2009 slaying as well as an unrelated 2011 sexual assault.

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    Birdie Lewis says Wednesday's arrest of a man accused of killing her daughter five years ago is the Mother's Day gift she's prayed for. NBC Chicago's Michelle Relerford reports for the NBC 5 NEWS at NOON on May 8, 2014. (Published Thursday, May 8, 2014)

    In their proffer, prosecutors said Velentin-Matos raped a 26-year-old woman three years ago after allowing her to stay in his home after she'd been evicted from hers. That woman, authorities said, woke up the morning of Nov. 27 when Valentin-Matos jumped on her in bed and assaulted her.

    When that woman was later in the hospital, prosecutors said Valentin-Matos repeatedly called her cell phone. The number was traced back to Valentin-Matos, they said.

    Semen was recoved from the sexual assault victim and the subsequent DNA profile was entered into a computer system used by the Illinois State Police Crime Lab. In 2013, that profile came up as a partial match to the semen recovered from Conner's body and clothes.

    DNA taken from Valentin-Matos after his arrest matched what authorities had in their computer system, prosecutors said.

    Mom "Happy" Daughter's Suspected Killer Caught

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    The mother of murdered 12-year-old Jahmeshia Conner shares her relief, after DNA evidence links a suspect to the crime. Dick Johnson reports. (Published Wednesday, May 7, 2014)

    Conner's mother said an arrest in her daughter's case was the Mother's Day gift she'd prayed for and said she never doubted an arrest would eventually be made.

    Conner was reported missing by family members in November 2009 after she didn't return home after visiting an aunt. About two weeks later, a passerby saw her body in an alley in the 6400 block of South Marshfield, just blocks from her home.

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