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The 1979 murder of a 12-year-old Texas girl has just been solved, but the killer was executed in 2002

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The cold case murder of a 12-year-old girl in Texas more than four decades ago was solved after authorities used a sophisticated DNA tool to identify her killer, authorities said Monday.

Gerald Dwight Casey, who was executed in 2002 for an unrelated murder case, was linked to Lesia Michell Jackson’s 1979 assault and murder using a DNA technique known as “M-Vac,” the Montgomery County said. Sheriff’s Office in a ruling.

The technology, originally developed to identify food contamination but now used to collect DNA from porous and other difficult surfaces, was used to process samples discovered on Lesia’s clothing, the sheriff’s office said.

Lesia Michel Jackson.Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office

The sheriff’s office, north of Houston in one of Texas’ most sprawling counties, said it was the oldest cold case the department has solved.

Lesia disappeared on September 7 after swimming in the lake in her subsection with friends and relatives. Her glasses were found the next day, and an oilfield worker found her body on Sept. 13 near a pipeline, the sheriff’s office said.

An autopsy found she had been sexually assaulted, the sheriff’s office said.

The case remained cold until last year, when the new DNA technique was used to obtain samples of Lesia’s clothing, the sheriff’s office said.

A DNA profile was identified by state forensic experts and uploaded to a DNA database, the sheriff’s office said.

After determining that the profile belonged to Casey, investigators compared the DNA obtained from Lesia’s clothing with a blood sample taken from Casey before his execution.

The comparison confirmed Casey as Lesia’s killer, the sheriff’s office said.

Casey was executed by injection on April 18, 2002 for a robbery and murder in 1989.

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