DNA Solves Cold Case

PERRY – Kenneth L. Knight, 52, pled guilty to the Feb. 18, 1988 murder of an Indiana woman after DNA linked him to the homicide. Leads into the murder of Sandra Espinoza, 22, dried up soon after her body was discovered dumped along US 27 in Perry, but the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office never stopped searching for her killer. 

Taylor County Sherriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reexamined the case utilizing old crime scene evidence which resulted in a DNA hit linking Knight to the homicide in 2008.  Knight, a truck driver, pled guilty to 2nd degree murder on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012.
“It feels good to get closure to such an old case,” said Taylor County Sheriff’s Office Captain Ron Rice.  “Hopefully the victim’s family can now experience some level of peace.” 
“This case is an example of what can be accomplished when law enforcement agencies work together,” said Taylor County Sheriff L.E. “Bummy” Williams. 
“Florida’s DNA database is an effective tool for law enforcement generating 3,600 hits last year alone,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.  “As DNA profile collections continue to expand the database, we will see more cold cases solved and contemporary crimes solved more quickly.”
Knight will be sentenced on March 20, 2012 and faces 23 years in prison. He is currently in the Taylor County Jail.