DNA match solves chilly case of California waitress discovered useless in restaurant in 1996

A DNA match has helped chilly case investigators clear up the killing of a San Francisco Bay Space waitress whose physique was present in a restaurant’s basement toilet 25 years in the past, authorities stated Thursday.

A homicide cost was filed by prosecutors towards jail inmate Danny Lamont Hamilton, alleging he drowned Priscilla Lewis throughout an tried rape and housebreaking on the 4 Corners restaurant within the metropolis of Crockett on September 24, 1996, stated a press release from the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Workplace.

The prepare dinner on the restaurant known as 911 shortly earlier than 10:30 p.m. after discovering her physique within the basement toilet, the sheriff’s workplace stated. The reason for dying was asphyxia as a consequence of drowning.

  Priscilla Lewis

CBS San Francisco

The case went unsolved for many years after investigators interviewed dozens of individuals, submitted quite a few items of proof for evaluation and executed a number of search warrants, the assertion stated.

Detectives final yr submitted extra proof to a DNA crime lab and a match got here again that linked Hamilton to the crime, the assertion stated. On Wednesday, murder detectives offered the case to the Contra Costa District Lawyer’s Workplace. and Hamilton was charged with homicide, officers stated.

“I wish to acknowledge the various sheriff’s workplace murder detectives and crime lab workers for his or her dedication and relentless work within the homicide of Priscilla Lewis in 1996,” stated Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston in a information launch.

He’s serving a life sentence at a state jail close to San Diego after being convicted of sexual assault expenses unrelated to Lewis’ dying, authorities stated. It was not recognized whether or not he has a lawyer who might communicate on his behalf.

Troy Kinslow, a cousin of Lewis who grew up along with her within the close by city of Port Costa, stated her slaying haunted him for years.

“I used to be throughout the road, on the bar consuming and had seen her on her break,” Kinslow stated. “And the following morning I went to the shop to get one thing to drink and a buddy stated, ‘you heard about her?'”

He stated he urged detectives three years in the past to reexamine the case.

“They informed me, ‘you’ve been on us.’ My hundreds of texts and calls acquired them fired up,” he stated.

Kinslow added: “It has been an extended course of and it has been very tiring emotionally and bodily however I by no means gave up.”

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