Schuett detective is grateful for refusal to run DNA tests in 1990

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by By Shern-Min Chow/ 11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 14, 2009 at 5:55 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 26 at 6:39 PM

GALVESTON -- Ralph Garcia was a Dickinson Police Officer in 1990.? He was assigned to the , whose throat was slashed.?

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11 News video
October 14, 2009

In an interview with reporters from nearly two decades ago, Garcia said, "She can write, blink her eyes and so forth.? It (the interview) was very brief."

Jennifer wrote notes from her hospital bed at U.T.M.B in Galveston, trying to give information to detectives.? That included a note that said "Dennis" was the name her attacker used to identify himself.

Garcia said it was an early indication of her strength and determination.??

"She is not the typical victim," he said.

Back then, authorities came under strong criticism?for refusing to run a DNA test on the small amount of biological evidence they had with no solid suspect.??

"If we had consumed that evidence, we couldn't be here today," said Garcia.? He said he believes the Nuclear DNA testing is both a vindication for both the victim and the officers from that time.

Now the police chief of Manvel, Garcia said he knew technology would eventually catch up with the crime and the criminal.?? Violent offenders are often repeat offenders.?? "No doubt he either did it before, or would do it again."

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Dennis Bradford's DNA was a CODIS match, for the rape, kidnapping and attempted murder of an Arkansas woman.

Garcia worked long hours on Jennifer's case.? Investigators followed over 210 leads.?? In thanks, the Schuetts gave him a plaque and their prayers.? He still keeps both in his office, next to photos of his own children.? They were young then, too.

"Jennifer would even come by the house play with my kids.? We were very close," said Garcia.

?Garcia also said Jennifer's victory has become his victory.? "She's gonna' get to grow up like my kids are growing up now."?

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