The man who was originally charged in connection with the murder of 14-year-old Dana Bradley says he is willing to submit to a DNA sample provided certain conditions are met.
David Somerton was charged in 1986 after confessing to police that he had killed the teen, but later recanted, claiming he had been coerced into a confession.
Somerton told VOCM News today that a DNA sample was taken from him in 1999, but it was contaminated and the results were “inconclusive.”
Somerton says he is now willing to provide another DNA sample to police, but given past history, he says he’s distrustful, and wants to ensure that his rights are protected.
He says he’ll contact his lawyer to see if it’s in his interest to have a DNA sample taken, but he wants others with him when it’s done.
Somerton says he is “100 percent innocent” and he wants police to go public when he’s cleared.
RCMP yesterday announced that due to improved technology they had identified new DNA evidence of an unknown male. They say they’ve already used that evidence to eliminate a number of suspects identified during the course of the 35 year investigation.
RCMP say to protect the integrity of the investigation they cannot speak to specific suspects in the case.
RCMP are reviewing the entire file, including witness statements and tips received.
DNA samples that have already been collected are in the process of being compared against the new DNA evidence and several suspects have already been eliminated.
Police say work is continuing in requesting and collecting DNA samples from suspects as needed.
The man who once admitted to killing Dana Bradley says he is 100 per cent innocent.
David Somerton confessed to the crime back in 1986, but later recanted that confession. New DNA evidence identified in the 35-year-old investigation into the murder of 14-year-old Dana Bradley could finally lead to the person responsible, but Somerton says it won’t lead to him.
Somerton, speaking with VOCM’s Nightline with Darryll Power last night, maintains his innocence.
He says he had nothing to do with Bradley’s murder, and he’s sorry for what he said, apologizing to Bradley’s parents.
RCMP won’t say what the nature of the DNA evidence is, or how it was collected, but they do say that latest technologies have been involved in what they’re calling a major breakthrough in the investigation.
Bradley went missing on December 14th, 1981. Her body was found a few days later in a wooded area off Maddox Cove Road.
In recent years, some people have called on RCMP to unearth some vehicles linked to a man identified as part of a so-called “recovered” memory.
Officer in Charge of the RCMP’s Major Crime Unit, Inspector Pat Cahill says the new DNA evidence has already eliminated the suspect linked to those vehicles.
He says they already cleared the tip, but the DNA evidence also helped clear the suspect related to those vehicles.
Inspector Cahill says the investigation has always been active and over the years analysis and testing techniques have improved, leading to a positive DNA sample.
He says the latest round of testing resulted in some positive results involving male DNA.
Cahill can’t say if an arrest is imminent but he says the breakthrough is allowing them to eliminate suspects identified through the course of their investigation. He says because so much time has elapsed, it is possible that the culprit may have passed on.
He says if that is the case, there are investigative techniques which can be employed, including exhumation.
In the meantime, RCMP are inviting anyone with information, regardless of how insignificant they may think it may be, to call them.
Crime Stoppers: 1-800-222-8477
Text: TIP190 and your message to 274637 (CRIMES)
Secure web tips: www.nlcrimestoppers.com