Phoenix P.D.'s Cold Case Suspect's Been in an Arizona Prison Since 2003

Categories: Cold Case Files
Clayton Roinuse
The man police say is responsible for the 1999 sexual assault, kidnapping, and attempted murder of a Valley woman is currently in an Arizona state prison serving a life sentence for crimes very similar to the ones with which he's now accused -- and he's been there since 2003.

Clayton Roinuse is accused of the attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and armed robbery of a Valley woman in January of 1999.

Guess what crimes landed him in prison seven years ago? Kidnapping, murder, aggravated assault, and burglary.

Check out Roinuse's page on the Department of Corrections website here

Roinuse, police say, took the woman to the East Valley, where he sexually assaulted her. When he was done, he shot the woman and left her for dead in the desert -- only, she wasn't dead.

The victim managed to crawl across the desert "a great distance away" from where she'd been sexually assaulted, shot, and left to die.

The Phoenix Police Department says they were able to identify Roinuse as a suspect because they matched his DNA with DNA evidence they found at the crime scene.

As we suggested this morning, Roinuse's DNA has likely been in a law enforcement database since he was first incarcerated. Why it took seven years to make the connection? We'll find out at a Phoenix Police Department press conference at 1 p.m.

Check back to Valley Fever later for details.

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Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

My guess is the case went cold before DNA examination was streamlined to the point it is today. Many thousands of cases have DNA evidence and are considered 'cold'. All of those cases, one at a time, need to have DNA submitted, classified, and then searched for matching. Sometimes an indirect hit may come back and that DNA then needs to be compared with family members, such as siblings or children, to determine who the actual exact match is for the DNA from the crime. All of which takes time. I will guess that seven years for this case to be solved by DNA comparison is not considered out of the ordinary for cold cases. Just my perspective. It will be interesting to see what the official work from PPD is. Kudos to PPD, however long it took, for making this case.

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