Archive for Friday, October 18, 2002

DNA presented in barrel bodies trial

October 18, 2002

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— Blood samples taken from a Linn County mobile home owned by John E. Robinson Sr. were identified Thursday as belonging to two women whose bodies were found in barrels.

During his testimony, Frank Booth, a criminologist with the Kansas City, Mo., regional crime lab, identified the blood as coming from Izabela Lewicka and Suzette Trouten.

Booth compared DNA samples from the victims' bodies with blood recovered by investigators from the mobile home during a search in June 2000.

Robinson, 58, Olathe, is charged with capital murder in the deaths of Trouten, 27, Newport, Mich., and Lewicka, 21, a former Purdue University student. Their bodies were discovered June 3, 2000, by investigators conducting a search of Robinson's 16.5-acre property.

The bodies were in varying stages of decomposition, with a foot of fluid in the barrels. Trouten was nude with a blindfold on her face, while Lewicka was found in a blue T-shirt.

Robinson is also charged with first-degree murder in the death of Lisa Stasi, who disappeared in 1985 and has never been found.

Booth also testified that hair samples taken from Trouten's hands could be a match to hair that was found on the paper towel and on a wallboard sample taken from the mobile home's kitchen. None of the hair matched samples submitted by Robinson.

No murder weapon has been found in the case. Both women, as well as the three found in Missouri, died from blunt force trauma to the head, causing near immediate death.

A roll of duct tape found in a bucket in one of the mobile home's bedrooms contained DNA that matched Lewicka's, Booth said. Lewicka's body was found with three strips of duct tape floating in the barrel.

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