DNA found at Occupy Wall Street protest linked to unsolved murder

Dylan Stableford
The Lookout

Investigators in New York say they may have stumbled onto a break in the unsolved murder case of Sarah Fox, a Juilliard student who was found dead in a Manhattan park in 2004.

According to an unnamed law enforcement official, DNA found at an Occupy New York-affiliated protest matches genetic material found at the crime scene. The 21-year-old drama major and aspiring actress disappeared after she left to go running on May 19, 2004. Fox's body was found six days later in a heavily wooded area of Inwood Hill Park, her clothing removed and larynx fractured. No arrests were made in the killing, though at the time police said Dimitry Sheinman, a nearby resident who said he had "visions" about Fox, was their "No. 1 suspect."

DNA samples collected from a chain left behind at a March 28 protest in Brooklyn matches the DNA found on a pink CD player found near Fox's body, the law enforcement official told the New York Post.

According to The Associated Press, the DNA on the chain—used by activists to hold a subway's emergency exit open—has not been matched to any one person at the protest, and another law enforcement source told the Post that while "it's an important piece of evidence," police are "a long way from solving the case."

Nonetheless, the DNA match—first reported by NBC New York—was front-page news for the Post, which called the link "incredible," "startling" and "shocking."

But databases include DNA samples routinely collected from various crime scenes. According to the AP, matches pop up "periodically."

UPDATE: The Post, citing different law enforcement sources, is now reporting the DNA match could be a mistake. Click here for the latest.