Member No.: 909
Joined: 23-November 09
UID was thought to be female, but turned out to be male.Twin's DNA helps police ID cold case victim
|HOUSTON—For the last 22 years, Edith Montenegro has been waiting for her son to come home.|
In August of 1989, 13-year-old Paul Segura left their southwest Houston apartment to take a Metro bus across town.
"He went to visit my daughter’s godmother and her son," said Montenegro.
But Paul never made it back, and until last week, she never knew what happened to him.
"Now they tell me they found him and he is gone," Montenegro said, with tears rolling down her face.
She said she always had hope he would return one day.
"Yes I did. I thought he ran away and didn’t want to be found or something," Montenegro said.
To begin to tell what happened, we must go back to just a few weeks after Paul disappeared 22 years ago.
That’s when a passerby found badly decomposed remains in a wooded area behind an east Houston neighborhood. The address was 12200 Fleming.
It was determined the deceased was likely a teenager, and that the child had been shot in the back of the head. But because the victim had long hair, and a woman’s bra was found nearby, investigators always believed they were dealing with a teenage girl.
"And yeah we got channelized a little bit with the description being a female and all our energy was focused that way," said Sgt. Mike Peters, with the Houston Police Department’s Homicide Division.
In 1989, HPD’s Lois Gibson even drew a sketch, hoping someone somewhere would come forward with information. But no one did.
Eventually, the unknown body was buried in the county cemetery, but not before the Medical Examiner’s office collected samples.
"During the autopsy, they collect samples and they store it, and now with the DNA technology they were able to submit some of it into the CODIS system," Sgt. Peters said.
CODIS is a national DNA database and, at best, the M.E.’s office was hoping to get a close match; something that would possibly link them to a close relative of the deceased.
But in this case, they not only got a hit, but the DNA was a perfect match. It matched a 35-year-old man, named Chris, who is still alive.
We asked HPD how that could happen.
It turned out the body was Paul Segura, and the perfect match was his twin brother, Chris. Chris was in the DNA database because he once got in trouble with the law.
"I went up to introduce myself. I asked Chris if he had a twin brother, and he told me yes and said he was missing since 1989. It was kind of a delicate situation. How do you talk with someone about this? But Chris did real well," Sgt. Peters said.
After Sgt. Peters told him his twin brother was dead, Chris told his mother, who took it hard.
"You know I really think there are juveniles involved in this, and the thing with kids is they don’t keep secrets. They’ve got to tell somebody and these kids will all be in their mid-thirties now, and I am just hoping somebody will just man up," Sgt. Peters said.
Paul was shot just days before he was to start the eighth grade at Jane Long Middle School. His mother said it would mean a lot to her to find out who killed her son.
And now that Paul has been found, Sgt. Peters is looking for his killer.