DNA samples taken from the handle of a Walmart shopping cart led to a trucker’s arrest in connection with a trio of cold case slayings dating back to the early 1990s.
Clark Perry Baldwin, 58, was arrested in Waterloo, Iowa after FBI agents matched forensic evidence in his garbage and a shopping cart to the DNA profile a relative of his uploaded to a commercial genealogy site. The profile points to his alleged involvement in the unsolved killings of three women, according to the Des Moines Register.
“There were multiple items we got good DNA from that matched the profile at our murder scenes,” 22nd Judicial District Attorney General Brent Cooper told PEOPLE.
“Investigators went through all the partial matches, and through the process of elimination they ended up with this guy, and started looking into his background,” he added. “He was the correct age range and a former truck driver.”
Baldwin is accused of carrying out the violent murder of a 32-year-old pregnant Tennessee woman named Pamela McCall in 1991, the Virginian-Pilot reported. She’d been strangled and abandoned in a patch of woods off a highway, according to the Des Moines Register.
“I hope the state of Tennessee burns him," the woman’s mother, Marshal Lyell, told the Daily Press almost three decades ago, referring to whoever killed her daughter. "I had to burn my daughter to bring her home.”
Baldwin is charged with two separate counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of McCall and her unborn child, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
Baldwin allegedly later killed two unidentified women in 1992 in Wyoming, one of whom was also pregnant. The pair of bodies were discovered approximately 400 miles apart. They had previously been nicknamed “Bitter Creek Betty” and “I-90 Jane Doe,” the Virginia newspaper also reported.
Baldwin faces two counts of murder in Wyoming for the killings of the two women, Wyoming outlet the Oil City News reported. The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation said that the women remain unidentified.
Semen recovered from each victim also helped investigators create a DNA profile of the suspected killer.
“After 29 years, you have to think he had certainly thought it was behind him and got away with it,” Cooper also told PEOPLE.
Authorities are now investigating if Baldwin is potentially connected to any other unsolved homicides.
“Obviously that’s something we’re hopeful for,” Commander Matt Waldock of the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation said, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
One case in particular that has drawn the attention of authorities is that of Tammy Jo Zywicki, a 21-year-old Iowa college student, who was last seen on the shoulder of an Illinois highway in 1992, according to ABC affiliate WCIV.
An individual driving a semi-truck was reportedly spotted not far from her broken down car. The woman’s body later turned up in Missouri, the outlet reported.
Baldwin, who drove semi-trucks for much of his life, allegedly also once boasted about, “killing a girl out west by strangulation and throwing her out of his truck,” his ex-wife told police, according to court records obtained by the Virginian-Pilot.
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