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DNA match produces suspect in 2-year-old case

DNA found on a drinking straw at the scene of a 2010 Eagle Point burglary has led investigators to a possible culprit, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department said Thursday.

The evidence points to Rogue River resident Molly Jane Williams, 42, who was arrested in April on multiple other burglary charges. The Sheriff's Department has submitted a first-degree burglary charge in the Eagle Point case to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office for review while Williams remains lodged in the Jackson County Jail.

The case began on March 12, 2010, when Jackson County sheriff's deputies received a report of a burglary in the 1800 block of Brownsboro Meridian Road near Eagle Point. Thousands of dollars worth of power tools, hand tools and miscellaneous property were stolen from the home, sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson said.

Deputies working at the scene collected evidence, including a straw found in an empty energy drink container. Homeowners said it didn't belong to them and likely had been left behind by the burglars. The evidence was sent to the Oregon State Police forensic laboratory.

Investigators followed up on multiple leads, but made no arrests in the case until they got a break this month.

The police laboratory reported test results showing that DNA on the straw came from Williams. The lab said that the chances of a person having that specific DNA profile are 1 in 10 billion.

State forensic laboratory officials could not be reached for comment.

Williams already was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on multiple burglary charges related to cases from 2010 to 2012, along with additional charges of theft, aggravated theft, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possession and delivery of methamphetamine.

Lodged on April 2, she was being held in lieu of $501,000 bail, jail records show. She pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Court records show Williams has numerous felony convictions extending back to 2006, including second-degree burglary, forgery and theft, and identity theft.

The investigation into the March 2010 burglary is continuing.

"We believe she was working with others," Carlson said, adding investigators aren't releasing details about other suspects yet.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.