Everything, including forensic science:
After more than two decades, investigators say they’ve finally solved the brutal murder of Lucille Johnson, 78. John Sansing — a prison inmate on death row in Arizona — was charged Thursday with first-degree murder, a first-degree felony, in the woman’s death.
A daughter discovered her mother dead in bed with a pillow over her face.
Investigators at the time found LEGO bricks on Johnson’s living room floor, in the home’s entry and on the driveway, Hoyal said. Detectives collected the toys as evidence after family members told them that while Johnson had toys for her grandchildren, she would never leave them lying around, the charges state.
Salt Lake County sheriff’s investigators worked on the case but were unable to solve it. They stopped investigating in 2006 because they lacked any new leads.In August 2013, a team led by Unified Police Sgt. Michael Ikemiyashiro reopened the case. The detectives sent scrapings that had been collected from under Johnson’s fingernails for DNA testing and recovered a profile that matched a Combined DNA Index System profile for Sansing, Ikemiyashiro said.
Investigators also matched fingerprints from the LEGO toys gathered during the original investigation with one of Sansing’s children who was 5 years old at the time of the killing, according to the charges. Police now believe that Sansing’s son was present at the time Johnson was viciously killed.