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Police: DNA could assist in arrest of Warwick City Park murder suspect

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WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Tuesday marks the third anniversary of an unsolved murder in Warwick but police say they are hoping they can still crack the case.

During a news conference Tuesday, police announced they have DNA from the man they believe killed John “Jack” Fay in City Park back in 2013. The announcement comes just one day after police released a composite sketch of a possible suspect.

According to police, Fay was bludgeoned to death and found in a trash barrel in the park. Officials say they have blood and tissue from the man they believe attacked him.

“We believe there was a struggle,” said Det. Sgt. Mark Canning of the Warwick Police department, noting that evidence suggests Fay fought back against his attacker.

While the DNA came back with no known matches, it was analyzed by a lab to give some helpful clues about the hair and eye color of the suspect. It also gives some insight into the person’s ancestry facial structure.

“Ninety percent of the people walking down the street now really don’t match that profile and now the investigator can focus in on who’s most likely to match that DNA,” said Dr. Ellen Greytak of Parabon NanoLabs.

Investigators said the DNA is tested nationally every Tuesday to see if there’s a new match – and a change in state law last year might provide more momentum for the case.

Legislators voted to make those arrested for violent crimes enter the DNA database whether they are convicted or not. So, if the owner of that DNA is arrested for a violent crime in Rhode Island, Fay’s killer could potentially be located.

Canning said this is the type of case could absolutely be solved somewhere down the road.

And, after media reports Monday showcased the composite release by police, Warwick officials said they have received at least 30 new tips and the phone has been ringing off the hook.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Sgt. Mark Canning at (401) 468-4236 or Det. John McHale at (401) 468-4267.

An anonymous tip can also be left at (401) 732-TIPS.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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