Texas Woman Arrested as Suspect in Capital Murder Case From 2005
The case of an elderly coupled murdered in their home in 2005 had gone cold, but DNA evidence has pointed investigators to a prime suspect.
On Friday, a Texas woman was arrested in connection to a cold case murder from 2005, according to local outlet KHOU-TV.
Shelley Susan Thompson-Lemoine, 41, has been identified as the capital murder suspect in the case of a murdered elderly couple thanks to DNA evidence on a blood-stained rug.
Antonio Rodriguez, 80, and Luz Rodriguez, 77, were bludgeoned to death in their Cleveland, Texas, home, left to be discovered by their daughter, Carolina Tejeda.
According to the outlet, investigators arrived with police dogs that tracked the scent of a suspect across the railroad tracks to a nearby apartment complex, but it ended there.
According to investigators, blood was found in several areas in the home, including a large rug. The DNA found on the rug was unidentified and entered into a database system, but yielded no results, and the case went cold.
In March of 2021, Cleveland, Texas, detectives were notified of a hit from the DNA database system pointing to Thompson-Lemoine. At the time, she was serving a sentence in a Texas prison for an unrelated offense.
Investigators traveled to the prison to interview and swab her for DNA, and Thompson-Lemoine denied any knowledge of the crime or the Rodriguez family, according to the outlet.
Detectives told the KHOU they learned Thompson-Lemoine had been investigated for numerous drug and property-related offenses, but no felony convictions led her to prison until 2021.
In 2022, the DNA taken from Thompson-Lemoine matched the DNA found on the bloodstained rug in the Rodriguez's home, according to police.
"Sometimes such small pieces of evidence can solve a case and in this case that piece of carpet that was found inside the home that had a spectacle of blood on it," Chief Darrel Broussad with the Cleveland Police Department said to KHOU-TV.
After reviewing the case details, a district attorney confirmed there was sufficient cause to issue an arrest warrant, and one was issued for Thompson-Lemoine on July 5 for capital murder.
Thompson-Lemoine had been released from prison but was then arrested by a Texas Ranger and detectives from the Cleveland Police Department.
Thompson-Lemoine’s bond was set at $1 million.
"After 17 years, it feels good," said Tejeda, the deceased couple’s daughter.
Investigators are still looking for more people involved. If you have any information on this case call Multi-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392-STOP.
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