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Attorney General Lockyer Announces DNA Match Identifies Suspect in 1981 Monterey Murder

Friday, January 19, 2001
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(San Diego, CA.) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced today that a "cold hit" to the California Convicted Felon DNA Databank at the Department of Justice (DOJ) DNA Laboratory has led to the identification and arrest of a suspect in a 1981 murder and sexual assault case.

Michael Adams, 44, of Salinas, was arrested today and charged with the June, 1981 murder, rape, and kidnap of then 48-year old Sylvia Edgren in the city of Monterey.

Adams was identified when evidence from the 1981 crimes yielded a DNA profile that matched Adams' DNA profile stored in the DOJ Databank. Adams was not considered a suspect for the 1981 crimes until the DNA database match produced a "cold hit" last week.

California law requires blood and saliva samples to be taken from individuals convicted of sexual assaults and other violent crimes. The samples yield DNA profiles, which are stored in the state DOJ Convicted Felon DNA Databank in Berkeley. DNA profiles extracted from crime scene evidence are compared to DNA profiles in the databank. Adams' DNA profile is in the databank as the result of a 1987 conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.

"No matter how ‘old and cold' an unsolved murder case may be, this investigation proves that no California law enforcement agency should ever give up trying to solve it," Lockyer said. "Today skilled scientists using new technologies like DNA can re-examine evidence and solve cases which have stumped investigators for years. Through the use of this new science, our DNA Databank and law enforcement agencies are making California a safer place."

This is the 24th case since the DOJ DNA Convicted Felon Databank was established in 1994 where a "cold hit" has resulted in the identification of a suspect.

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