CINCINNATI (TCD) — A 64-year-old man stands accused of killing a man who was found dead 20 years ago with stab wounds and an extension cord around his neck.
According to an Oct. 2 news release from Hamilton County Prosecutor Melissa Powers, Robert Stewart was indicted on two counts of murder and one count of felonious assault in connection with Herman Brown’s death. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
On Feb. 15, 2003, Cincinnati Police performed a welfare check at 2572 Sarvis Court after a 911 caller reported a “strong odor coming from the apartment.”
At the scene, officers found Brown “lying naked on the floor, deceased” and blood in the bathroom sink.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, investigators gathered six cigarette butts, a DNA swab from the victim’s genitals, and a blood sample from the bathroom sink.
The blood collected from the bathroom sink contained two DNA profiles: one from the victim and another from an unidentified individual. The unidentified DNA also matched the DNA on the victim’s genitals and the cigarette butts found at the scene.
Investigators were unable to identify a suspect based on the unknown DNA profile. After pursuing all leads, the homicide investigation went cold.
The Prosecutor’s Office said investigators recently re-extracted the unidentified DNA profile from the cigarette butts and submitted it to a forensic genetic genealogy search, which identified Robert Stewart as a potential suspect. Further DNA analysis verified that Stewart was the source of the DNA found at the crime scene.
Police apprehended Stewart in Lima, Ohio, on Sept. 15, and extradited him back to Hamilton County. He remains held in the Hamilton County Justice Center on a $500,000 bond.
Powers said, “These dedicated detectives never give up on their cases. They never give up on their victims. They will continue to investigate until the case is solved — no matter how long it takes.”
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