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Fingerprint on victim's phone helps lead to arrest in 2017 stabbing deaths of Indiana couple

A cellphone analysis and partial fingerprint on a cellphone have led to the arrest of a Fort Wayne, Indiana man on murder and other charges in the fatal stabbings of a couple in 2017.

Dustin Neal, 35, was charged Friday with two counts each of murder, felony murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury in the June 2017 slayings of 25 year-old Noele Trice and 29-year-old Bryan Lash.

Dustin Neal Fort Wayne Police Department

The couple was found dead the morning after hosting a party that Neal attended, court documents said.

Police and an FBI agent conducted an analysis of Neal's cellphone in October that showed it pinged off a cell site near the victims' home on the morning of the slayings despite his contention he had not returned to the home after leaving the party, documents said.

A partial print found on Trice's cellphone also led investigators to Neal, documents said.

A new witness told police in October that Neal was bragging about committing the murders, saying he had broken into the couple's home to steal marijuana but Lash had woke up during the burglary.

CBS affiliate WANE-TV, citing court documents, reported that Neal allegedly told a witness he stabbed both the victims and that "I stabbed her in the face so hard the knife got stuck."

Another witness asked Neal if he had committed the murders, to which Neal initially declined to comment but he then followed it up with "I have five bodies under me," the station reported, citing court documents.

Court documents don't show an attorney for Neal who might comment on the allegations against him.

"We're obviously very pleased with the fact that we were able to bring a conclusion to this case with the arrest of Dustin Neal," Detective Brian Martin told WANE-TV.

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