FL - Tonya Ethridge McKinley, 23, murdered, Pensacola, 1 Jan 1985 *killer suicide*

Niner

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Saw this case on the DNA thread - and thought I'd make a thread for Tonya. Case solved after 35 years!!

Pensacola police make arrest in 35-year-old cold case murder using familial DNA

March 18, 2020
PENSACOLA - Tonya Ethridge McKinley was 23 years old and had an 18-month-old son waiting for her at home when she was killed in the early-morning hours of Jan. 1, 1985, in Pensacola.

She was last seen alive around 1:30 a.m. at Darryl’s Bar & Grille in Pensacola, and in the early-morning hours of New Year’s Day her body was found in an empty lot at the corner of Peacock Drive and Creighton Road, just one block off Scenic Highway. She had been sexually assaulted and murdered.

On Wednesday, 35 years later, Pensacola police made an arrest in the case: Daniel Leonard Wells, 57, is facing charges of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual battery.

Wells was identified after Parabon NanoLabs, a Virginia-based company working with the Pensacola Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, ran a DNA sample obtained from the scene of the crime through an open-source genealogy database and identified several different people believed to be distant cousins of the suspect.
[.....]
Wells is being held without bond at Escambia County Jail and will make his first court appearance Thursday morning.



Can not copy/paste from Escambia jail site, but his next hearing is on 4/8 @ 8:30a
 

Blue Girl1991

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Wow! just to listen to this recording,the wonderful investigators who didn't give up and
did everything to bring justice, you can hear how much they care,they are so emotional,and the moment when they tell about the arrest to Tonya's son and his response and gratitude,It is simply impossible not to cry with them.
I am so happy for these news.Thank you for sharing:)
 

Otterly

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Blue Girl1991

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This may be macabre, but at least this will save Florida taxpayers some money.

Thankfully Tonya's family will not have to go through a painful trial.
The monster is gone and I feel relief that Tonya's family will not have to live with a reality that this evil murderer enjoy daily meals,Tv,family visits.
 
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