DNA links alleged killer to murder of Forest Acres doctor - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

DNA links alleged killer to murder of Forest Acres doctor

Dr. Joseph Dillard Dr. Joseph Dillard
Kevin Goodwin Kevin Goodwin

(Forest Acres) June 14, 2004 - Forest Acres Police Chief Gene Sealy says Kevin Dwayne Goodwin, 27, is now formally charged with the murder of retired general practitioner Dr. Joseph Dillard. He's being held at the Richland County Detention Center. 

Sealy says Goodwin admitted to murdering Dr. Dillard in both written and verbal statements. The murder charge Monday comes in addition to the charge of first degree burglary Goodwin received Saturday. Forest Acres Police say items stolen from the Dillard residence were also found in Goodwin's possession.
Goodwin is also now charged with second degree burglary for an unrelated burglary committed on Lakeshore Drive in Forest Acres June 2nd. Sealy says Goodwin admitted to those crimes as well.  
A bond hearing is scheduled for 9:00am Wednesday at the Richland County Judicial Center.

Last Monday, the beloved family doctor was murdered during an apparent burglary at his Forest Acres home. Dillard's body was found by his wife, Sandy, just after 6:00pm on June 7th.

Lieutenant Ira Jeffcoat says SLED enters DNA into a genetic analyzer to see if it matches someone already in the system, "Through the evidence retrieved at the crime scene we can connect an individual to that crime. We can place him or her at the crime scene."
Investigators say that's what happened with information collected at Dr. Dillard's home last week. A DNA sample matched Goodwin's. He was in prison for burglary until his release last December. He was arrested on Saturday.
Jeffcoat says the arrest comes from what they call a cold hit, "Simply means we have no information that leads us to one suspect, we just generated a profile from the unknown sample, checked the database and got a hit otherwise we did not have any information on."
Lt. Jeffcoat says there are 25,000 DNA samples in South Carolina's database and counting. He expects as the number grows, investigators can use the DNA technique on more crimes like the murder of Dr. Dillard.

This kind of DNA technology has been in use since the mid 1990's, but it used to just be for sex offenders. It then expanded to violent offenders. A new law goes into effect July 1st whereby all felons must submit DNA for the database.

Also Monday, investigators from the State Law Enforcement Division, the Forest Acres Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff's Department searched a field along Killian Road. Police say they were looking for evidence in connection with Dillard's murder, but they haven't said exactly what they were looking for

Authorities say they don't believe there was an accomplice in the murder.

The Dillard home was also robbed three years ago. Police arrested a man in that robbery. He remains behind bars.

And, Dr. Dillard's son, Joe, Junior, was murdered inside his Columbia home in 2002. Columbia Police say the killer in that case is still on the loose, but says investigators have several leads. Investigators say they do not believe the two cases are related.

Dillard was remembered at a ceremony attended by hundreds Friday at St. Martin's in the Field Episcopal Church. Memorials may be made to St. Martin's in the Field Episcopal Church Foundation or the charity of one’s choice.

Reporting by Jennifer Miskewicz
Updated 9:08pm by Chris Rees

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