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DNA technology leads to cold case murder conviction

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By Paula Vargas

AURORA, Colo. — Palm prints left inside the Aurora home of 65-year-old murder victim helped lead to a cold case murder conviction Wednesday.

An Arapahoe County jury on Wednesday found Daniel Jesus Lopez guilty of first-degree murder for the 2007 slaying of Young Soon Kirk.

Lopez faces life without the possibility of parole for killing Kirk inside her apartment near E. 10th Ave. and Dayton St. six years ago.

An overwhelming odor coming from the woman’s apartment alerted Aurora police to force entry where they found her “severely beaten” body.

Evidence collected at the scene revealed the DNA profile of the perpetrator but was not matched to Lopez until two years later according to Lisa Pinto, 18th Judicial District spokeswoman.

Lopez, who served time in 2008 for drug charges, was required to submit a DNA sample at the time of his incarceration.

Lopez’ DNA was entered into the national database known as the Combined DNA Index System. Through this system, years later, DNA was matched with that left at the crime scene.

“DNA technology allows us to achieve justice in cold cases where only circumstantial evidence exists,” said trial prosecutors Steve Fauver.  “Without these advances in forensic technology, these crimes would otherwise go unsolved.”

Lopez is scheduled for sentencing April 25th.

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