Investigators in Philadelphia will run DNA samples taken from alleged murderer and Levittown resident Jason Smith through a national crime database, police said.
NBC10 reports that police are comparing Smith’s DNA to that of the Fairmount Park Rapist and samples gathered after several sexual assaults near Pennypack Park in Northeast Philadelphia.
City police say the suspect in the Fairmount Park is connected to at least three violent sexual assault cases. All the crimes happened between 2003 and 2007.
One of the cases includes the 2003 murder 30-year-old Rebecca Park, a medical student, whose death was caused by strangulation.
The suspect in the murder and rapes was described to Mt. Airy Patch in 2011 as a Hispanic male with scars on his arms and chest.
Authorities are also testing to see if Smith’s DNA matches with samples recovered in the Pennypack Park cases.
In those incidents, the suspect drove a work truck adorn with ladders. He raped and beat three woman between 2010 and 2012. The assailant was also said to have body piercings.
Police said no signs of sexual assault were found on Dr. Melissa Ketunuti's body last week. Smith is accused of murdering her last Monday at her Center City residence after an argument.
A Philadelphia Police Department spokeswoman said on Monday that testing a suspect’s DNA against other samples in the FBI’s national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) is common practice. She declined to comment on when test results would be available.
Former Sister-In-Law Speaks
The ex-wife of Smith's half-brother was interviewed on WebSlueths.com over the weekend. The woman was in a relationship with the suspect’s half-brother until 2004, when they divorced.
In the question-and-answer format message board post, Tracy Elliott revealed details of the 36-year-old murder suspect’s life.
Elliott, who was also interviewed in the Philadelphia Daily News, said her brother-in-law had “issues” but never knew him to be violent toward his girlfriend at the time.
“... during the year 2000, he moved into my ex's apartment (before we were married) for several months,” she said. “He basically lived rent free. My ex had a land-line phone (back when cell phones were relatively new) and he ended up racking up about $1000 calling phone-sex lines.”
Elliott also described how Smith’s mother, who the murder suspect lived with for a period of time when she was part of the family, had 14 cats and eight dogs. She said she never saw any kind of abuse and said Smith was “kind to the pets in his family.”
Past Police Contacts
According to police and court documents, Smith has a relatively minor criminal record.
Documents reveal the Crabtree section resident was arrested by Bristol Township police for DUI in 2004 after he was found to be under the influence and in possession of drugs on the day he turned 28 years old. He served some time in prison for that crime.
In March 2012, Bristol Borough police issued a ticket to Smith after a traffic-related incident where he went 28 MPH over the posted limit. He pleaded guilty and paid a 118.90 fine over two months.
Just weeks later, state troopers out of Trevose issued a citation against the 36-year-old father. The lone charge was disorderly conduct involving obscene language or gestures, court records show. On Monday, Philly.com uncovered the “obscene” incident involved Smith "exposing himself while traveling on the highway during a road rage incident" in Bensalem. He plead guilty and paid $289 over several months through a payment plan, a criminal docket shows.
Smith currently sits in Center City prison cell without bail on charges he bound, murdered and set fire to the 35-year-old doctor. His preliminary hearing has been set for next month.
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