Two days after detectives brought him in for questioning, Darryl Littlejohn, a bouncer at the Mahattan bar where student Imette St. Guillen was last seen, is being held at a Rikers Island jail, accused of a parole violation.
Littlejohn has not been charged with the murder as investigators wait to see if forensic and other evidence would tie the 41-year-old bouncer at The Falls to the slaying. Police tell the New York Daily News that he is the "only suspect." The parole violation could keep him locked up for 90 days.
The New York Post reports that police began questioning Littlejohn after The Falls owner, Michael J. Dorrian, told police that he had ordered Littlejohn to "Get her out of here!" because St. Guillen was so drunk at the end of that night.
Dorrian told cops that Littlejohn hauled St. Guillen out a side door of the building at 218 Lafayette St., the Post reports. Dorrian and an unidentified bartender said that moments later, they heard arguing in a hallway just outside a door to the bar, the sources said. They then heard a scream from the same direction.
Crime scene unit detectives, dressed in white coveralls, searched the yellow house on 121st Avenue, where Littlejohn lives with his aunt.
Littlejohn's aunt, Addie Harris, who lives with Littlejohn, said the warrant for the Queens home targeted the basement, first floor and driveway of the two-story building. Cops were hunting for blood, sand, hair and DNA evidence, Harris told The Daily News. Police tell Chang a cat is significant because feline hair was found on the bedspread used to wrap St. Guillen's body.
Last night, cops removed additional evidence from his home, including clothing and stained pieces of carpet. Cops also took socks to see if they match the tube sock shoved down St. Guillen's throat. Detectives were also preparing to search a gray Ford van parked about three blocks from the house, The New York Times reports. A bench seat like one that might be from a van was taken from the house yesterday. Then the van, missing a seat, appeared in the area sometime between Friday and Saturday, neighbors told the Times. The police said they were trying to determine if the seat came from the van.
Police are also awaiting DNA tests to come back. At the top of the list is skin found under St. Guillen's broken fingernails - believed to be scratched off as she fought her attacker, police sources tell the Daily News.
The bouncer was the only bar employee who did not voluntarily submit to DNA testing, WCBS reporter Ti-Hua Chang reports, but his DNA is on record from previous crimes.
"If Littlejohn's DNA is there, he's nailed," criminal profiler Pat Brown told The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith. "If it's not, they'll have more trouble. They'll have to come up with enough circumstantial evidence in his car and his home to nail him."
Littlejohn's aunt said outside the home she didn't think her nephew was involved in St. Guillen's killing.
"I pray that it wasn't him. The young lady was somebody's daughter, somebody's sister," said Harris.
Cell phone records showed Littlejohn was at home about 5 p.m., according to newspaper reports. The records also place him at 6 p.m. within a mile of where St. Guillen's body was dumped in a deserted area off the Belt Parkway, the sources said. Her body was found at about 8:40 p.m. after an anonymous male tipster made a 911 call from a diner in the area.
Littlejohn, who has been in and out of prison for 20 years, has used a different alias for nearly every crime. Two names he went by were "John Handsome" and "Jonathan Blaze," which also is the secret identity of comic book character "Ghost Rider," according to newspaper reports. He was sentenced to 8½ to 10 years for a 1995 Long Island bank robbery.
The state Parole Board denied his release in May 2004.
"Your violent and out-of-control behavior shows you to be a menace to society," the board found. "Your continued incarceration remains in the best interest of society."
"The No. 1 job of serial killers is security. Yes, I would be looking at this guy very carefully for those reasons," Brown told The Early Show. "When you're going out to car at night, the last person you want to walk you to your car is a security guard."
St. Guillen had been set to graduate this semester from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. She graduated with honors from George Washington University in Washington.
Less than two nights before her murder, Saint Guillen's family and friends gathered in Florida to celebrate her upcoming birthday.
Saint Guillen's mother, Maureen, tells the Daily News that "Our last words were, 'I love you, always I love you"' as the graduate student left Florida from a vacation with her family just days before she was killed.
She was buried last weekend outside of Boston where her family lives. Friends and relatives at her funeral on Saturday remembered her for her infectious smile, bold confidence, love of board games and penchant for high heels.
St. Guillen's family has appealed for the public's help in finding the killer. Police say anyone with information about St. Guillen should call 1-800-577-TIPS.