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Thread: DNA found on can of Vanilla Coke help authorities solve 40-year-old murder (Sylvia Quayle, 35) mystery

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    DNA found on can of Vanilla Coke help authorities solve 40-year-old murder (Sylvia Quayle, 35) mystery

    DNA recovered from a can of Coca-Cola Vanilla has helped Colorado authorities identify a suspect in a 40-year-old murder mystery.

    Sylvia Quayle was just 35 years old when a man broke into her home the night of Aug. 3, 1981. Her father discovered her naked body the following day and authorities said she'd been strangled, stabbed and shot.

    Police said the phone line into her home had been cut and the screen to a bathroom window had been removed. The victim was also sexually assaulted, according to authorities.

    More than 100 pieces of evidence were recovered from the scene, but investigators for decades struggled to identify the man behind the brutal crime. In the end, they were able to use genetic genealogy testing, a fairly new method used to identify the notorious 'Golden State Killer' in California, to locate a suspect.

    The FBI partnered with a company called United Data Connect to trace DNA from a can of soda found at the crime scene to a Nebraska man named David Anderson. He'd been living quietly in the Colorado city of Cherry Hills in the years since he allegedly murdered Quayle, according to CBS Denver.

    Authorities in January were able to confirm Anderson's DNA matched evidence found on the scene by testing it against pieces of garbage they lifted from his trash. The 62-year-old suspect was arrested earlier this month and remained behind bars Friday on two counts of first-degree murder.

    'Sylvia's sister and family had the quote 'beauty seen is never lost' etched onto her grave marker as a very fitting reminder of the beautiful person she was,' CHVPD Police Chief Michelle Tovrea said at a press conference this week.

    Should he be convicted, Anderson is facing life behind bars without the possibility for parole.

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    Man convicted in 1981 murder in Cherry Hills Village

    A man has been found guilty of killing a woman in her Cherry Hills Village home more than four decades ago.

    David Anderson, 62, was found guilty Thursday of two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the 1981 death of 34-year-old Sylvia Quayle, the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office said. One murder count alleged Quayle was killed after deliberation, while the other alleged she was killed in the commission of another felony.

    Quayle was found dead in her home on Ogden Street in Cherry Hills Village on Aug. 4, 1981. The coroner determined she had been stabbed multiple times and shot in the head. She had also been sexually assaulted.

    The case went unsolved for decades. In 2000, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) submitted a DNA sample to the FBI's Combined DNA Index System, but that sample remained unidentified until 2020. That's when Cherry Hills Village police began working with a genetic genealogy company. The company gave the police department a possible lead after the samples were entered into two public DNA databases.

    The next year, an investigator with the company went to Anderson's apartment building in Nebraska, collected trash bags from a dumpster, and found a soda can he had thrown away. DNA from that can matched the DNA collected at the crime scene.

    Anderson was arrested in Nebraska in February 2021. The case originally went to trial in March, but the judge declared a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

    Anderson faces life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years, based on the sentencing laws in effect at the time of the crime. He will be sentenced August 4.

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