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East Cleveland: DNA testing reveals clues to 11-year-old's killer

10:20 AM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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EAST CLEVELAND - For 19 years, the murder of Bianca White has remained unsolved.

On June 1st, 1994, the 11-year-old girl was sitting at the kitchen table in her home, doing her homework when she was brutally stabbed to death.

Her mother returned that evening and found her daughter's body; police say Bianca had been stabbed at least 38 times.

Police found no sign of forced entry to their home on Penrose Avenue.  While they collected boxes and boxes of evidence from the crime scene, including blood samples, DNA testing was relatively new technology at the time.

Years passed by, but the case was never forgotten. 

"Her young age, and the heinous nature of the crime--that pulled a lot of heart strings," said Detective Reginald Holcomb.

Detective Reginald Holcomb was a rookie at the time of the murder. 

Five years later, Scott Gardner joined East Cleveland police.

In 2010, at the request of the East Cleveland Mayor, the police department formed a cold case unit. 

Gardner immediately went to the Bianca White case and began looking through the evidence.

"I remember looking at one of the photos. She was apparently literally studying her school books when this happened," said Gardner.

In 2011, samples of the evidence were sent off for DNA testing at local and national crime labs. 

"In 1994, [DNA testing]was really in its infancy. Not a lot of departments were using it. It was extremely expensive back then. Not as accurate as it is today," said Detective Gardner.

The results of those tests began returning last year.

According to an affidavit, one of the DNA profiles returned is consistent with William Cleveland Scott, or one of Scott's male siblings.

Scott was an acquaintence of the Whites in 1994.

Police say Scott was a person of interest in the case then, but they never had physical evidence to link him to Bianca's murder.

"One step at a time. One day at a time," said Detective Holcomb.

Scott is currently serving a life sentence in prison for a rape and murder conviction, that he committed years later.

On Tuesday, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office issued a tri-state search warrant, to obtain DNA swabs from Scott's three male siblings.

East Cleveland Detectives say the results of these tests should rule out other suspects.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner will review the findings, and should have results in about a month.

Detective Holcomb still speaks with Bianca's mother. The policemen hope, they will soon have the news the little girl's family is waiting to hear.

"It's coming along. And her mother's been patient," said Detective Holcomb.

WKYC-TV

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