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Sheriff's Department Investigators Solve 16-Year-Old Cold Case Using DNA, Fingerprint Technology

GARDENA (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies announced on Saturday that they believe they've solved a 16-year-old cold case.

They announced that with the use of DNA and fingerprint technology, they have finally arrested a suspect wanted in the murder of a woman in 2005.

On Thursday, they arrested 56-year-old Charles Wright, of Hawthorne, on suspicion of murdering 21-year-old Pertina Epps, via strangulation.

Her body was found in an empty parking stall on April 26, 2005 at around 1 p.m., when a Gardena resident was backing out of a carport on 141st Street.

"At the time of the murder, an extensive investigation was conducted by LASD homicide detectives and all leads were exhausted," said Deputy Alejandra Parra of the Sheriff's Information Bureau.

She continued to detail, "During a review of this case in 2021 by the Sheriff's Homicide Unsolved Unit, forensic evidence left at the crime scene was resubmitted for examination, using current technology.

"DNA and fingerprint evidence was determined to belong to the suspect, Charles Wright,'' Parra concluded.

Wright made bail - set at $1 million - on Thursday, the same day he was arrested. He is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on June 28.

(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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