'CSI: Miami' Star Eva LaRue Opens Up About Stalker Caught by FBI Using Forensic Genealogy

For 12 years, an unknown man sent Eva LaRue and her daughter threatening letters. Forensic genealogists used DNA from the letters to catch the man, who's now serving three years in prison for stalking and mailing threatening communications.

A TV actor is opening up about her stalker after police caught him with the help of forensic genealogy and DNA testing.

Eva LaRue is best known for playing Det. Natalia Boa Vista on “CSI: Miami” and Maria Santos on “All My Children.”

For 12 years, an unknown man terrorized the actress, sending her and her young daughter threatening letters.

“I had no idea where the letters were coming from. I had no idea if he lived next door to us, if he lived on our street, if he was in our town, if he knew where I lived,” LaRue said. 

LaRue says she remembers the first letter he sent, because it “came out of nowhere” and she had never had anything like it before. 

“It was terrifying, because it detailed in five pages how he — just this gruesome debauched, evil to a whole other level, about how he wanted to kidnap my 5-year-old daughter and I and he wanted to hold us as sex slaves,” LaRue said.

The letters were all signed the same way, “Love Freddy Krueger,” the fictional monster from “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

“Sometimes he would stop for a couple of months and we’d think, ‘Oh my god, maybe he’s in jail. Maybe he quit,’ and then it would start up again,” LaRue said.

Things took an even scarier turn when the man behind the letters tracked down LaRue’s daughter, Kaia, at school and pretended to be her father.

“It went from just a phone, ‘Hi, this is her dad,’ to leaving a message on the school answering machine, detailing everything he had ever said, every horrific nightmarish thing he had ever said in the letters on the school answering machine,” LaRue said.

While LaRue was living in daily fear, she was working with FBI agents Steve Busch and Steve Kramer, who developed new forensic genealogy technology that was also used to catch the Golden State Killer.

Fortunately, the agents were able to extract DNA from letters the suspect wrote. At last, they had a name: James David Rogers, a 58-year-old nurse's assistant from Ohio.

“The suspect’s DNA is, in fact, on almost all of these letters. We had it on dozens of the letters,” Busch said.

One night on his way home, the FBI followed James David Rogers to an Arby's restaurant where he bought some food. When he threw his trash away, they retrieved the bag and tested his straw for DNA. It came back as a perfect match with the DNA of the stalker. They had their guy.

Rogers was taken into custody and charged with stalking and mailing threatening communications.

The science used to nab LaRue’s stalker were just like the techniques used on “CSI Miami,” and ironically, LaRue played a DNA specialist on the show.

“I feel like I’ve got my life back to the point where I’m not constantly looking over my shoulder,” LaRue said.

Rogers pleaded guilty in federal court and is serving a three-year sentence, with an additional three years of probation.

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