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Police: Serial rapist arrested in 13-year-old murder case

Posted at 1:52 PM, Nov 09, 2016

MARION, Ind. – A man connected to four sexual assault cases was arrested Thursday after DNA linked him to a 13-and-a-half-year-old murder case.

Marion County police issued an arrest warrant for Roman Cruz Urista Jr., 61, for the murder of 81-year-old Betty Payne in 2003, who was found sexually assaulted and brutally murdered inside her home.

An autopsy found Payne’s cause of death was due to asphyxia. DNA evidence was submitted to the Indiana State Police Laboratory.

In 2003 the laboratory notified Marion police that a match was found in the DNA Database and linked to a 2001 Montgomery County, Ohio sexual assault case.

The police department was contacted again in 2015 by the lab confirming a second DNA match linked to a 2008 Hamilton, Ohio sexual assault case.

Marion police and Hamilton police developed a possible suspect in the case.

The lab contacted Marion police once more in 2016 to notify the department of a third DNA match linked to a 2000 Collier County, Florida sexual assault case. Upon working with Collier County detectives, Urista was determined to be the suspect in the Florida case.

Police arrested Urista in Ohio and matched his DNA to the 2003 murder case involving Payne.

He is in the Hamilton County Jail in Ohio.