Dog’s DNA Swab Catches His Killer

The family told police that the dog bit one of the men. Officer Chris Mitchell helped process the scene, and swabbed four areas of the dog’s mouth.

David Stoddard


Police in Barberton, Ohio have identified a criminal after they swabbed the mouth of a dog killed in a home invasion and robbery.

On October 6th, three masked men broke into the home of a woman and her son.  They fired shots and robbed the pair.  The family dog, a pit bull mix, attacked one of the intruders, biting his left arm.  The dog was shot and killed.

The family told police that the dog bit one of the men.  Officer Chris Mitchell helped process the scene, and swabbed four areas of the dog’s mouth.

“Before I did it, I actually got on my laptop in my cruiser and looked it up because I never heard of it being done before and I didn’t know if there was any precedent for it,” Mitchell said.

Two months later, policed were notified by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification in Richfield that human DNA was discovered, and it matched 24-year-old David Stoddard.  Police were amazed – this dog’s DNA swab had cracked the case!

“We were surprised that it worked, really,” Lt. Brian Jamison said.  “We had no other evidence in the case, basically.  It was at a dead end.”

Police tried to track Stoddard down at his home, but were unable to do so.  They contacted John Sinn, Stoddard’s attorney.

“His attorney wanted to make an appointment to turn him in and we would charge him at that time,” Jamison said.

But before Stoddard was turned in, he killed again.  This time, he broke into an Akron home where he shot and killed 16-year-old Anna Karam, who was four months pregnant at the time.  Nineteen-year-old Jessica Halman was also shot, but has since been released from the hospital.

Jamison said that an arrest warrant was not issued for Stoddard because police were hopeful that he would cooperate, turn himself in and name the other two intruders.

“Of course, we’re wishing that we could have gotten Mr. Stoddard before that incident (the murder) happened,” Jamison said.  “No one had any idea what Mr. Stoddard’s thought process was at that time.”

“I think they were really going about it smart in the sense that they didn’t want to arrest him before they had a chance to get a statement from him,” Sinn said.

In addition, Sinn said his client has no “recollection of those events.”  This does not likely provide any consolation to Karam’s loved ones.

15 thoughts on “Dog’s DNA Swab Catches His Killer

  1. Waited for his lawyer to bring him in,,,,and he then killed another pregnant girl and shot another. Don’t wait again shoot on sight. Shoot the sonovabitch.

  2. I hope Ohio has the death penalty. The loss of the dog is bad, but the fact that he killed a pregnant woman and wounded another is despicable. his attorney should be named as an accomplice. This piece of shit guy was part of a violent home invasion and the police were ok with him turning himself in?????????? The dog died trying to protect his family. He is now at the Rainbow Bridge playing. By now he has spit out this guys DNA and hopefully urinating on it. Rest in peace.

    1. So much sadness in this post. I think it’s fantastic that the swab worked to identify this individual, saddened to know that he was able to kill the pregnant woman before he was apprehended. I hope and pray that when he is brought to justice, he feels the full weight of the law for the rest of his life, however long or short that life may become.

  3. Apparently a dogs life is not that important, he protected his owners and died for them. That in itself was call for an arrest warrant…no they have DNA because of this dog’s sacrifice and give the guy an opportunity to turn himself in…seriously??? What does it take to make people understand, that if a person can kill an animal they are capable of killing anyone. That poor girl and her baby would have been here today if some would use half a brain cell of common sense. This stuff aggravates me to no end! Thumbs up to the cop who thought of DNA after dog bite on robber but no aggressive action taken in pursuing the result, so what good did it do. A dog, teenager and baby are now dead.

  4. What a piece of work! Throw him in a hole and throw away the key. He can rot there. He does not deserve to live on his earth any longer. Besides, he’s been breathing my air.

  5. String the guy up from a tree. And do it slowly. Cut him down before he dies. Then do it again the next day. Repeat till he finallybsnuffs it.

    Youndont like this? Revenge is part of natural justice. It’s the only consolation for the loss of innocent lives.

  6. This is not the way justice is supposed to work. Surely if the police issue an arrest warrant then the police in other towns / areas will become aware of the case and look out for him. What is this *rse-about-face idea that they “hope” he might turn himself in, some day?! He doesn’t even remember doing it. He is a public danger and needs to be caught and stopped.

  7. Lend him out to the Ohio State Police for a few years to be used as a target for their dog training program. Oh yeah, NO PROTECTIVE PADDING for him.

  8. This is typical, sadly, of Barberton, Ohio. They welcome, with open arms, all the scum that will drag themselves in, bringing any form of federal monies with them. From the outside, the downtown looks like a Norman Rockwell painting…..just behind the beautiful victorian homes on picturesque Lake Anna, are the slum-lord owned, shoddy, “mulitple-family” homes inhabited by every form of scum you can think of. But, hey, the elected officials keep getting back into office b/c their sheep constituents have their drugs, booze, cigarettes, section 8 housing, etc, etc etc, keep re-electing them. If only the national news attention brought about by this case could get the attention of the Ohio Attorney General, or someone who cares. The taxpayers just keep paying…and now, they are being threatened, robbed, shot, raped and killed by this transient scum. We have only scratched the surface.

  9. And we want gun control in this country? If that guy broke into my house the FIRST time, that poor pregnant girl would still be alive.

    Shame on the police and shame on his POS attorney.

  10. The father of my dog is tthe one that bit the guy …..A hero ….attacking the intruder during a home invasion only to be shot and killed while protecting his family…..Also ironicaly I was listening to the police scanner the night the girl was killed….very , very sad.

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