Truck driver jailed for a Texas killing charged with one other demise in California, authorities say

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CNN
 — 

A just lately retired truck driver who traveled throughout the nation for many years has been charged in a California girl’s demise, simply weeks after he was arrested in Texas for an additional girl’s killing, prosecutors said.

Douglas Thomas, 67, was charged Friday within the demise of Sherri Herrera, a 30-year-old mom of 4 who was discovered on a freeway on-ramp in March 1993, the Riverside County, California, district lawyer’s workplace mentioned in a information launch.

Herrera was final seen alive just a few days earlier than her physique was discovered, the discharge mentioned.

Sherri Herrera, 30, was a mother of four.

The workplace additionally filed a particular circumstance allegation of homicide throughout the fee of a rape, in response to the information launch.

It’s unclear if Thomas has authorized illustration. All through greater than 40 years working as a truck driver, Thomas traveled extensively, the discharge added.

Simply weeks earlier than the district lawyer’s announcement, authorities in Texas arrested Thomas on the suspicion of homicide for the April 1992 killing of a girl present in Titus County.

“Thomas was linked by authorities to that homicide by a DNA match to proof from that crime scene,” the district lawyer’s workplace mentioned.

Thomas was taken into custody in Texas in late Could underneath a $2 million bond on a homicide warrant for the April 1992 killing, in response to CNN affiliate KWTX, which cited a search warrant affidavit filed by a Texas Ranger.

The girl’s physique was discovered close to a relaxation space alongside a freeway and an investigation confirmed she was strangled “with a tool made from wire and twine,” in response to the affiliate. There was additionally proof of sexual assault, the affiliate reported.

Investigators from the 2 totally different states had been capable of make the reference to the assistance of forensic family tree: An investigator with the district lawyer’s workplace in California uploaded DNA profile from the scene of Herrera’s killing in 2002 and roughly 5 years later, there was a match connecting the killings within the two states, KWTX reported.

After forensic family tree investigations from each instances, the Riverside investigator contacted the Texas Ranger on the case, informing him of a number of individuals in Texas who had been “in the best genetic vary for comparability,” the station mentioned.

Authorities took a DNA pattern from Thomas in late April and the outcomes matched the suspect profile, in response to KWTX.

Whereas he was in custody in Texas, investigators from California traveled to Texas and interviewed Thomas about Herrera’s killing, the information launch mentioned.

Thomas stays in custody in Texas, the place he might be prosecuted for the 1992 homicide, the discharge mentioned. The Riverside County district lawyer’s workplace will then request he be extradited to California to be prosecuted for Herrera’s demise.

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