DeAngelo, 72, a former police officer, was arrested last month in Sacramento, and remains in custody there. As he walked into the craft store, it gave them a ideal chance to collect a secret DNA sample.
After four decades of hunting for the Golden State Killer, a pivotal piece of evidence that may have sealed the case was DNA evidence secretly lifted from the suspect's vehicle door at a Hobby Lobby parking lot in Roseville, Calif., reports the Los Angeles Times. The 123 pages of court documents detail how detectives built their case by entering DNA found at one of the crime scenes into genealogy websites.
The DNA collection at a public parking lot in Roseville, California, became a crucial turning point in the decades-old search for the suspect in the killings.
Police swabbed the driver's side handle of Joseph James DeAngelo's auto, according to arrest and search warrants released Friday.
Five days later, investigators were able to surreptitiously obtain additional DNA samples from items in DeAngelo's trash after he placed his trash can on the street in front of his residence in Citrus Heights, near Sacramento.
Just to make sure, deputies kept following DeAngelo and struck gold again in the form of a tossed piece of tissue paper fished from DeAngelo's trash on April 23, officials said.
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Authorities tracking DeAngelo followed him April 18 to a Hobby Lobby store about a week before his arrest.
Santa Barbara County prosecutors have filed four counts of capital murder against DeAngelo in connection with four homicides committed in Goleta.
The Golden State Killer, also known as the Original Night Stalker and the East Area Rapist, is believed responsible for at least 12 homicides, 45 rapes and 120 burglaries throughout the state, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
He is also accused of killing Debra Alexandria Manning on December 30, 1979, while committing a rape and a burglary, according to the new charges.
He was sacked from his law enforcement job in 1979 for shoplifting a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a drugstore.
Interest in the case was renewed shortly before DeAngelo's arrest due to the release of a book on the crimes by the late writer Michelle McNamara.