INDIANAPOLIS — A DNA match back in the spring changed a stagnant murder case into one with a potential answer.
23-year-old Jaylaun Walker is now charged with murder in the 2016 death of 41-year-old Angela Wright.
Police found Wright with a gunshot wound to her head outside of a red pickup truck in the 3000 block of Nowland Ave. just after 5 a.m.
IMPD said detectives talked to people who last saw Wright, got nearby security video, created a timeline of her last whereabouts but still weren’t able to make an arrest.
”You can imagine the frustration we have with the community whenever we have a case that goes unsolved,” Wright said.
IMPD even created a video about the case, posted to YouTube back in 2017. The video shows Tom Lehn, a now retired IMPD detective, giving details about the case.
”The truck had fresh damage on the passenger side but the investigation could not determine where or exactly when the damage occurred,” Lehn said in the video.
At the end of the video, Lehn asks people for tips.
”If you have information regard Angela’s murder call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS. Please help us bring Angela’s killers to justice,” he said.
No arrests could be made… until a break this past spring.
According to court records, IMPD got a CODIS hit for DNA collected from the original scene – matching Jaylaun Walker’s DNA.
”It’s a database full of DNA profiles, some are known, some are unknown,” said Paul Keenan, a retired Indianapolis FBI agent and current cofounder of PHaKtor Consulting.
Keenan said participating agencies enter DNA from felony arrests or crime scenes.
Walker had been arrested for a felony just a month before.
Another month later brought more news, IMPD got confirmation fingerprints taken from the passenger door of the red pickup truck Wright was found by matched Walker’s print.
Keenan said this shows the importance of collecting and keeping evidence.
”You don’t get a second chance with these types of cases when you’re collecting evidence so you want to be as thorough as possible,” he said.
From there, court docs show IMPD interviewed Walker three times. Discovering he lived less than a quarter-mile from where the crime happened.
Walker did not admit to the crime, but in late august court docs said the crime lab gave a final confirmation – three DNA swabs from Wright’s body matched Walker’s dna.
Murder charges were filed against Walker Thursday.
Walker was already in custody at the Adult Criminal Justice Center for a prior armed robbery in June 2022.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Detective Charles Benner at (317) 327-3475 or email him at Charles.Benner@indy.gov.