Denver, Colorado - 48-year-old Gerald Cooper was sentenced to 48 years in prison yesterday in the July 2005 beating and stabbing death of Carol Colaiano, who was disabled, in her downtown apartment. As reported in yesterday's Rocky Mountain News:
Denver police discovered the victim dead in her apartment in the 1200 block of Galapago Street after an aide found her and called for help.
Seven months later, detectives investigated another attack in the same apartment building. The victim, who was sexually assaulted, survived the attack and later identified Cooper, who lived in the building, as her assailant.
Cooper pleaded guilty to assault in that case and was sentenced to prison, where he was required to provide a DNA sample for the national Combined DNA Index System.
With Cooper's DNA in their possession, authorities were able to match his DNA with a blood mixture that he left behind at Colaiano's apartment, as well a blood mixture belonging to the victim, prosecutors said.