Daytona Beach serial killer identified with help of DNA, ballistic evidence, officials say

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) — A man arrested for the 2016 murder of a woman in Palm Beach County has been linked by DNA evidence to serial killings in Daytona Beach.

Four women were murdered in Daytona Beach between 2005 and 2007.

Police said 37-year-old Robert Hayes was a Bethune Cookman college student at the time of the Daytona Beach serial killings and purchased the same kind of gun used in the murders, at a local gun shop.

Hayes was recently identified as the suspect in the murder of a woman in Palm Beach County in 2016 through DNA and genetic genaology.

That same DNA was a match to two of three serial killing suspects in Daytona Beach, Laquetta Gunther in 2005 and Julie Green in 2006.

Officials said ballistics links Hayes to the murder of the third serial killer victim in 2006, Iwana Patton.

“We can link him here to our city during the time of our murders and Palm Beach County made an arrest during that time. I’m sorry Palm Beach County made an arrest yesterday in reference to their homicide. At this point in time, we have not charged him with ours, but we have linked him through forensic evidence to three of our murder victims,” said Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri.

A fourth woman, Stacey Gage, was discovered badly decomposed in Daytona Beach in early 2008, likely killed in late 2007 under similar circumstances.

Law enforcement has not yet said whether she was a serial killer victim, due to lack of DNA and other forensics.

Further details to follow.

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