Dallas man arrested in 1984 killing of aspiring model

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Authorities say they arrested a 60-year-old Dallas man on a capital murder charge in the 1984 killing of a 21-year-old woman after linking him to the crime through genealogical databases

DALLAS — Investigators arrested a 60-year-old Dallas man on a capital murder charge in the 1984 killing of a 21-year-old woman after linking him to the crime through genealogical databases, prosecutors said Friday.

Edward Morgan was arrested in the killing of Mary Jane Thompson, who was also sexually assaulted, the Dallas County district attorney’s office said.

Morgan was being held Friday at the Dallas County jail. Bond was not yet listed for him, nor was an attorney.

Thompson, an aspiring model who worked at a florist’s shop and a restaurant, moved to Dallas about six months before her February 1984 death, the Dallas Morning News reported. She previously lived in Houston and Los Angeles.

Thompson was last seen two days before she was found dead behind a warehouse, strangled by her own leg warmers. She had been taking a bus to a medical clinic that turned out to be closed, the newspaper reported.

Prosecutors said Dallas police reopened the case in 2009 and that DNA testing was done on swabs from the autopsy. A male DNA profile was identified by never matched to a specific suspect and the case went cold again.

After police opened the case again in 2018, they worked with a team from the district attorney’s office and the FBI. Prosecutors said Morgan was identified as a suspect through technology that uses genealogical websites to identify potential relatives of a suspect based on DNA collected at a crime scene. DNA testing confirmed this week that he matched the profile taken from the autopsy in 1984.