Man, 61, charged with killing teacher 26 years ago after DNA breakthrough | #teacher | #children | #kids

Clayton Foreman, left, is accused of killing Mary Edwards, right, in January 1995 (Picture: Beaumont Police/Texas Department of Public Safety)

A 61-year-old man has been charged with killing his one of his ex-wife’s friends 26 years ago after police make a DNA breakthrough in the cold case murder.

Clayton Foreman, from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, has been accused of the 1995 murder of Mary Edwards, a teacher who was once a bridesmaid at his wedding.

He was arrested and charged with Edwards’ death on April 29 after detectives matched his DNA to that of an unknown suspect in the case.

Edwards was found dead in her home on January 15, 1995, and was good friends with Foreman’s first wife, reports 12News.

Her murder remained a mystery for 26 years until, in April last year, detectives submitted DNA evidence found on Edwards’ body to a lab for comparison to an online database.

According to a probable cause affidavit, semen was collected from Edwards’ home by investigators in 1995 and when police ran the samples through the genetics database, it led them to identify Foreman as their main suspect.

An initial link was found to a family member of Foreman, and police then collected DNA samples from trash taken from outside Foreman’s home and found a positive match, the affidavit said.

Clayton Foreman, 61, has been charged with capital murder

Clayton Foreman, 61, has been charged with capital murder (Picture: Beamont Police)

During the course of their investigation, police also say they found similarities between Edwards’ death and a 1981 rape that Foreman had previously pleaded guilty to, 12News writes. 

In that rape case, Foreman gave a school classmate a lift home after he came across her at a gas station. Police said he ‘bound her hands behind her back with a belt and held a knife to her throat’ before sexually assaulting her. 

Edwards’ body was also discovered with her hands bound behind her back, according to police.

Her parents found her body at her home in Park Meadows, Texas, when they went to check on her because she wasn’t answering her phone. 

Edwards’ body was found in a bathtub with her hands handcuffed and her head under the water, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. She had also been sexually assaulted, the authority added.

‘There are numerous similarities in the 1981 case and the Edwards’ murder’, the arrest affidavit states.

‘First, Edwards and the first victim both went to high school with the suspect. Secondly, their hands were bound behind their back. Thirdly, both were sexually assaulted.’  

Leading up to Foreman’s arrest, the DNA from the crime scene was entered into a GEDmatch public database, which is an online service not viewable to the public that compares DNA from different testing companies. 

Mary Edwards was found dead in her bath tub in January 1995

Mary Edwards was found dead in her bath tub in January 1995 (Picture: Texas Department of Public Safety)

It first identified a second cousin of Foreman’s, and police say they worked through the family tree by collecting DNA samples that were voluntarily submitted by more than 30 family members, News 4 San Antonio reported.  

Detectives eventually found DNA connections to Foreman’s parents, and Foreman became the main suspect.   

Foreman has been charged with capital murder and is currently being held in an Ohio jail waiting to be extradited to Texas, according to Franklin County Sheriff inmate records.

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