HOUSTON — An arrest that was made in a Texas teacher's murder brought a surprising twist. The victim was a bridesmaid at the suspect's wedding.
Mary Catherine Edwards, 31, was found drowned in a bathtub and raped in her Beaumont townhome in 1995. Now, 25 years later, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced the arrest of Clayton Bernard Foreman, 61, in Ohio.
“We always suspected it was someone who was known to the family, but we would have never thought it’s going to be a person that’s in your wedding," said Brandon Bess, a Texas Ranger with DPS's Unsolved Crimes Investigation Program.
Bess said trash collected from Foreman’s home matched DNA from the crime scene. The DNA was discovered through advanced testing by Houston-area lab, Othram.
“In contrast to traditional testing which examines maybe 20 markers in the DNA, we are collecting tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of markers," CEO Dr. David Mittelman said.
Mittelman said examining more markers provides a more accurate suspect profile. With the help of genealogy and collecting samples from distant relatives who volunteer, investigators were able to zero in on Foreman.
“I don’t think cases will necessarily have to go cold in the future," Mittleman said. "If you have tried the traditional methods and pursued all available leads and they don't lead you to an answer, then you immediately switch to this format."
Bess said it's a reminder to victim’s families, that if technology can solve a 25-year-old teacher’s murder, there are plenty of other cold cases waiting to be solved.
“Crime-fighting and crime-solving have changed, if we have DNA in a case, I’m convinced we can solve those cases,” Bess said.
Investigators said Foreman had another victim in the early 1980s and he was sentenced in that case. Now, they want to hear from you, because they believe there could be more victims. To submit a tip to the Texas Rangers on an unsolved homicide, click here.