Connect with us

Its Called Football

Its Called Football

New DNA testing in 1981 murder leads Florida police to coach


Uncategorized

New DNA testing in 1981 murder leads Florida police to coach

Detectives say they have solved the 1981 killing of a Florida woman using advanced DNA testing that led them to the football coach of one of her sonsDecember 20, 2019, 7:17 PM3 min readLAKELAND, Fla. — Detectives solved the 1981 murder of a Florida woman by using advanced DNA testing to discover the suspect was…

Detectives say they have solved the 1981 killing of a Florida woman using advanced DNA testing that led them to the football coach of one of her sons

December 20, 2019, 7:17 PM

3 min read

LAKELAND, Fla. —
Detectives solved the 1981 murder of a Florida woman by using advanced DNA testing to discover the suspect was the football coach of one of her sons, police said.

The Lakeland Police Department said Joseph Clinton Mills, 58, has been arrested on charges he raped and killed Linda Patterson Slaten, on Sept. 4, 1981, when she was 31. Slaten was found strangled with a wire hanger around her neck, and partially undressed. There didn’t appear to be signs of struggle in the bedroom, but the window was not locked and the screen had been removed.

“He was my football coach, and I trusted this man. He would take me to the games and brought me home afterwards,” Tim Slaten, now 50, told reporters at a news conference.

Mills was a coach for the Lakeland Volunteers football program. The night before Slaten was found dead, he picked Tim up for football practice and dropped him off again in the evening. Mills continued to drive Tim to and from practice after his mom’s death, Tim Slaten said on Thursday.

Authorities could not match the DNA collected during Linda Slaten’s autopsy to any law enforcement databases back in 1981.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that a Florida Department of Law Enforcement official asked Lakeland detectives in 2018 to submit DNA collected from the 1981 murder to Virginia-based Parabon Nanolabs. The company uses genealogy databases to look into the possible suspect’s familial line.

The company released a report in June supporting the case that Joseph Mills was a likely suspect, saying genetic connections were found to both sides of his family tree, the newspaper said.

Detectives started monitoring his residence to collect DNA using cotton swabs, adhesive patches, colostomy bags and a plastic spoon. Authorities also found that fingerprints taken from Slaten’s window were a match to Mills’ prints taken after an unrelated arrest in 1984.

Mills initially said under oath that he hadn’t been inside Slaten’s apartment and had never had sex with her, The Ledger reported. But in a statement to detectives, he admitted he had crawled through her bedroom window, and had “wild” sex while twisting a wire hanger around her neck until she lost consciousness.

Real Life. Real News. Real Voices

Help us tell more of the stories that matter

Become a founding member

Jail records did not list an attorney for Mills.


ABC News


Subscribe to the newsletter news

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular Posts

To Top