DNA discovered under a victim’s fingernails this week in Northern California helped police solve a 31-year-old case. The DNA matched a criminal’s profile in the Combined DNA Index System database.
DNA Underneath a Victim’s Fingernails
According to Seaside Police Chief Nick Borges, Vicki Johnson, who was 34 at the time of her murder on January 3, 1991, was found dead in Sabado Park in Seaside near a playground after being bit all over her body, strangled, and set on fire.
FOX NEWS reported that the mother of three allegedly battled so fiercely that she shattered the majority of her fingernails. Johnson’s case was “one of many” that were revived when the Monterey County District Attorney’s office established its cold case team. Skin under her fingernails was sent to the California Department of Justice for DNA testing.
That DNA matched Seaside resident Frank Lewis McClure, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 77, an ex-offender included in the CODIS national database. According to the police, they are unsure of McClure’s intentions or whether he and Johnson were acquainted.
31-Year Cold Case Solved
McClure has been found guilty of multiple violent offenses, including assault with a lethal weapon and domestic abuse of women, according to Borges, who spoke to FOX News Digital. At the time of publication, he was unable to provide specifics regarding the arrests.
Borges claims that Johnson struggled with a crack addiction in her later years. There are currently 32 unsolved homicides in Seaside as a result of the police identifying McClure as Johnson’s killer.
Since 19-year veteran Borges took over as Seaside’s police chief in August of last year, he has implemented a new rule requiring all investigative supervisors on the department’s cold case unit to submit audits of their unresolved cold cases. Officers can revisit old evidence and interviews using that audit, he claimed.