Texas police use discarded cigarette to link man to mother’s day 2016 murder

Byron Lloyd Collins, 29, is accused of the murder of Natalia Shal on mother’s day 2016.

(Baytown Police)

A discarded cigarette butt helped police charges a Texas man in a mother’s day 2016 murder of a 50-year-old woman, authorities said Wednesday.

Byron Lloyd Collins, 29, was picked up by the authorities last week at the same Baytown complex where Natalia Shal was found dead with stab wounds last year, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.

Collins has been charged with capital murder and is also accused of trying to sexually assault Shal before the stabbing, KTRK-TV reported, citing court documents.

Shal the man, David Englerth, was outside the city at the time of the murder, to the station. He was not able to contact her so he called the police and asked them to check on her.

The station reported that the police saw Shal the body through her apartment window upon arrival.

DNA from the crime scene did not initially agree with some of the police databases. But in the beginning of 2017, researchers learned about the use of familial DNA testing to help identify suspects not already in the system.

In June, they got a hit, which corresponds to the DNA-Collins’ brother in the prison.

Surveilling Collins, police matched his discarded cigarette to the place of the crime on Dec. 18.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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