DNA leads to arrest in killing of teen after 19 years
The parents of a 12-year-old murder victim have been arrested as a result of a DNA test just when a case of homicide, which occurred 19 years ago in Istanbul, was about to drop due to the 20-year statute of limitations.
The 12-year-old middle school student, Hande Çinkitaş, was found dead in her home in Istanbul’s Ataşehir district in 2001.
Investigating teams at the crime scene found that the young victim had been hit on the head with a hammer and her throat had been cut with a knife.
Forensic material had been collected in the crime scene, but technology at the time did not exist to process this evidence.
Father Nezih Çinkitaş and stepmother Şehnaz Çinkitaş, who were detained after the murder, were released after a DNA analysis failed.
Months before the case was expected to drop as the statute of limitations were set to expire, it was reopened by police teams.
The police obtained new information and tested the DNA samples found on the scene and on the knife with new kits brought from abroad.
In the examination, DNA belonging to Nezih Çinkitaş was found on the sharp side of the knife.
The police detained the father, the stepmother and their neighbor H. O. K., identified only with initials.
The couple was referred to the court as the neighbor was released after being interrogated by the prosecutor’s office.
“I was at my sister’s house on the day of the incident. I don’t have the slightest connection to the killing,” the stepmother said.
But the father accused his wife in the court.
“It will be understood that the perpetrator was my wife in the murder of my daughter. She had even stabbed three people in my presence. My daughter was not very good with Şehnaz,” he said.
The couple has been arrested and sent to prison.