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DNA match leads to arrest in Indy cold case murder

William Swain 2000 Murder.JPG
Posted at 2:27 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 14:27:19-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A DNA match helped crack a 20-year-old murder case in Indianapolis.

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced Tuesday that William Swain was charged in connection with the 2000 murder and alleged sexual assault of Arthur McPhaul.

According to the prosecutor's office, McPhaul was found dead on on the floor of a hotel room in the 3400 block of S. Keystone Avenue.

On October 19, 2000, at approximately 11:46 am, McPhaul was found on the floor of a room of the motel at 3401 S. Keystone Avenue. He had duct tape around his wrist and a telephone cord wrapped around his ankle. There was also evidence of sexual assault. An autopsy by the Marion County Coroner determined that McPhaul had died from strangulation.

A DNA profile was created from nail scrapings found on the victim's neck, according to the prosecutor's office, which were submitted into a DNA database to be mainted on file for future searches.

In July 2019, IMPD's Cold Case Homicide Unit investigators matched those DNA samples with Swain. "A latent print recovered from the telephone at original crime scene was tested and confirmed to belong to Swain," the prosecutor's office said in a press release.

Swain was interviewed in September 2019 and denied any knowledge of the murder or victim. His DNA was taken at the time and forensic testing positively matched him to the crime.

Swain was arrested Friday and charged with murder, felony murder, criminal deviate conduct and criminal confinement.

The case remains under investigation.