DNA and fingerprints lead to arrest of cold case suspect - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

DNA and fingerprints lead to arrest of cold case suspect

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RACINE COUNTY (WKOW) -- Wisconsin authorities arrest an Illinois man in a 17-year old Racine County cold case.

The sheriff's office says the fingerprints of 36-year old James Eaton match those on a bag used to suffocate and kill 14-year old Amber Creek in 1997.

The body of 14-year-old Creek, from Palatine, Ill., was found in a Racine County marsh. She'd been beaten, sexually assaulted and suffocated with a plastic bag.

There was no fingerprint match on the bag until February, when new technology led investigators to Eaton.

Detectives then staked out his home and when he tossed a cigarette, they were able to match his DNA to that found on the plastic bag.    

Sheriff Christopher Schmaling of the Racine County Sheriff's Department says, "While we are proud that this day is here today, our sense of accomplishment is tempered by the pain and the loss that we know amber's family is still going through every day."

Eaton faces tentative charges of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.
He is currently being held in Racine County jail on $1 million dollars bail.

Eaton will make his first court appearance on Wednesday.

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