Man Charged in 2012 Cold Case Murder of East Harlem Girlfriend Whose Body was Found in Laundry Bag: DA - NBC New York

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Man Charged in 2012 Cold Case Murder of East Harlem Girlfriend Whose Body was Found in Laundry Bag: DA

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    Man Charged in 2012 Cold Case Murder of East Harlem Girlfriend Whose Body was Found in Laundry Bag: DA

    What to Know

    • A 59-year-old man was charged with murder in connection to the 2012 death of his girlfriend, whose body was found inside a laundry bag

    • Clayton Wilkins, of Brownsville, was charged with 2nd-degree murder, 1st-degree strangulation, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney

    • DA Eric Gonzalez says DNA evidence has allegedly connected Wilkins to the death

    A 59-year-old man was charged with murder in connection to the 2012 death of his girlfriend, whose body was found inside a laundry bag on a Brooklyn street, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

    Clayton Wilkins, of Brownsville, was charged Monday with second-degree murder and first-degree strangulation, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, adding that DNA evidence has allegedly connected him to the death.

    Wilkins was ordered held without bail and to return to court on March 22. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

    Attorney information for Wilkins was not immediately available.

    Holmdel Police Department

    Prosecutors say that on Feb. 15, 2012, at about 12:30 p.m., the body of Renee Staton, 50, of Manhattan, was discovered inside a black laundry bag outside a building on Lott Avenue in Brownsville.

    Allegedly, the victim was last seen the previous afternoon leaving the Bridge’s lyana House in East Harlem, which provides housing for homeless women.

    According to the district attorney’s office, forensic analysis of the evidence recovered from the victim’s left and right hands’ fingernails, a scarf she was wearing and from the drawstrings of the laundry bag matched a DNA sample that was provided by Wilkins.

    Prosecutors say that in a recent interview with detectives, Wilkins, who was dating the victim at the time, denied ever seeing the laundry bag or getting scratched by her.

    “A thorough examination of the forensic evidence in this cold case and additional recent investigatory steps allowed us to bring murder charges in order to hold the alleged killer responsible. My Cold Case Unit continues to work diligently with the NYPD to identify and investigate past crimes, including those that lie dormant, in an attempt to bring all offenders to justice,” Gonzalez said in a statement.

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