DNA Helps Crack Gruesome Dickinson Cold Case
Illustration courtesy FBI
For more than 19 years, Dennis Earl Bradford has lived with the knowledge that he raped an eight-year-old girl, slit her throat, left her for dead in a field -- and got away with it.
Until today, when a combination of law-enforcement agencies announced they had cracked the very cold case and charged Bradford with attempted capital murder.
Bradford took young Jennifer Schuett from her Dickinson home against her will in August 1990, the FBI announced, and then raped
and killed her (See comments). Schuett's body was discovered by kids about 14 hours later.
The case had stymied Dickinson police for years, but advances in DNA technology helped break it.
Approximately 18 months ago, the Dickinson Police Department requested FBI assistance in developing new leads on this unsolved crime. Because of advances in DNA testing, key pieces of evidence were sent to the FBI laboratory for advanced testing. A male DNA profile was successfully extracted, and that profile matched an existing DNA profile in the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, that of Dennis Earl Bradford of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Research conducted immediately after receiving news of the genetic match indicated that Bradford was arrested in 1987 in Dickinson for traffic offenses.
Gridiron Glory: The Best of Pro Football HOF -- 10AM-3PM
TicketsThu., Mar. 30, 10:00am
Gridiron Glory: The Best of Pro Football HOF -- 3PM-8PM
TicketsThu., Mar. 30, 3:00pm
Gridiron Glory: The Best of Pro Football HOF -- 10AM-6PM
TicketsSun., Apr. 2, 10:00am
Rice Owls Men's Baseball vs. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Men's Baseball
TicketsFri., Apr. 7, 6:30pm
A records check showed Bradford lived less than a quarter-mile from Schuett, the FBI said.
He's currently being held in an Arkansas jail waiting extradition.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Houston, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.