Almost 38 years to the day that 21-year-old Mary Jane Thompson was found dead behind a warehouse in Dallas, Texas, prosecutors were finally able to make an arrest in her case, the Dallas County District Attorney’s office said.
Thompson was found murdered and sexually assaulted along Irving Boulevard on February 13, 1984, officials said in a Friday news release. But shortly after authorities found her body, her case went cold for 25 years.
In 2009, years after DNA technology had advanced, Dallas Police reopened the case and tested male DNA, but there was never a match, according to prosecutors. The case went cold again for almost 10 years.
Then, in 2018, a detective with the Dallas Police cold case unit reopened the case and began working with the Dallas County DA Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) team “on new types of forensic testing techniques.” Two years later, the FBI joined Dallas investigators in hopes of finally tracking down Thompson’s killer, according to the news release.
Authorities then submitted the unknown male DNA profile for forensic genetic genealogy analysis (FGG) – the same technology that law enforcement used to catch the Golden State Killer, officials said.
“Through FGG, Edward Morgan of Dallas was identified as the suspect,” the DA’s office said in the release. “This week, DNA testing confirmed he matched the unidentified profile from the swab taken in the 1984 autopsy.”
Morgan, 60, faces one count of capital murder and is currently in the Dallas County Jail, according to the DA’s office. Records indicate that he’s being held on a $500,000 bond. It is unclear if he has retained an attorney at this time.
Dallas County Assistant District Attorney and SAKI Chief Leighton D’Antoni said the case was another example of collaboration between Dallas police, FBI and the SAKI team.
“Working together, we continue to solve the most difficult cold cases that Dallas has ever seen,” D’Antoni said.
“I look forward to working with all our local law enforcement agencies to utilize the advancements in forensic testing techniques to identify, arrest, and prosecute the most dangerous predators hiding among us. We never, ever forget about these cases, our victims, and their families,” D’Antoni added.