DNA discovery gives new impetus to unsolved Bristol murder

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The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office has assigned a county detective to investigate a new lead in the 1990 murder of a Falls woman, after identifying a man who may match DNA evidence taken from the victim.

Donna Dickey, a 32-year-old mother of two, was found raped, sodomized and strangled to death in a small piece of Silver Lake Park in Bristol Borough.

Her murder appeared unsolvable until 2017, when the case was reopened at the request of an amateur documentary maker, and new evidence was found suggesting two potential male matches from DNA evidence taken from Dickey.

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The existence of the matches was only made public last month, when this news agency revealed it in a story about the cold case and the previously unknown efforts of a California woman to solve it.

A retested DNA profile entered into the national database has at least one match – a convicted felon in York County, South Carolina, named James Larry Parker, who died in 2014 at age 67 and had connections to the county of Bucks at the time of Dickey’s death.

Now Bucks County detectives are following up on a second potential DNA match discovered in the Dickey dossier.

In a 1991 letter, the case’s lead investigator, Bristol Detective Charles Favoroso, asked the Georgia Vital Statistics Agency to help locate family information for a then 29-year-old man. living in Willingboro, New Jersey.

According to the letter, the man was ruled out as a suspect through DNA testing, but the examiner believed the sample could have been from a Georgia-born ‘father, son or brother’ of the man. .

With the support and assistance of the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office, filmmaker Cathy DeBuono resubmitted a request to the Georgia state agency last month for a copy of the man’s birth certificate. .

She recently received copies that confirm the man has a younger brother, who also lived in Willingboro in the 1990s.

DeBuono called it “incredibly exciting” that authorities now have a name and can actively take the next steps to continue the investigation to determine if anyone else was involved in Dickey’s murder.

“Let’s hope he’s alive and Donna and her family get the long-awaited justice,” DeBuono said.

Dickey’s sister, Jill Stinson, of Falls, has waited decades to see momentum in the investigation into her sister’s murder. She credits DeBuono’s interest and efforts for the renewed interest of law enforcement in the case.

“I try not to get impatient because it’s been a very long time,” Stinson said.

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