KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - A man was arrested in Tennessee on Wednesday for a murder that occurred almost 33 years ago in Central Florida.
The Seminole County Sheriff's Office announced on Thursday that they arrested 50-year-old Danny Lynn Emitt, of Knoxville, Tennessee, for the murder of 38-year-old Eveline Aguilar.
Aguilar's body was discovered on July 14, 1986 in her apartment, located on Winter Woods Boulevard in Winter Park. She had multiple cuts and stab wounds to her upper body and hands.
The case has been cold for three decades, despite multiple attempts to find new leads over the years. Then, success finally came in recent months.
A warrant for Emitt's arrest was reportedly obtained after evidence samples from the case were resubmitted to the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) national database. A DNA analysis was performed and matched a sample voluntarily submitted by Emitt in 2005 for a Melbourne Police Department case. He was not arrested in the case.
Through the performed DNA analysis, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said that Emitt was identified as the suspect responsible for Aguilar's death. Investigators said he lived about a half-mile from Aguilar’s apartment at the time of the murder, and in addition to the DNA, they also found a hand print at the scene which matched his.
Sheriff Dennis Lemma said that Emitt had never been a suspect in the case until now.
During a press conference on Thursday, Lemma said the new discoveries in the case were heavily credited to the county’s new Cold Case Squad: a team of retired law enforcement officers that volunteer to dig through Seminole’s cold cases and see if there are new leads to track.
"These guys do this for free. They're not paid. They do it, because they've got a passion in their heart to serve,” said Lemma.
Investigators with the Sheriff's Office reportedly traveled to Tennessee this week. With the help of the Knoxville Police Department and the Knoxville County Sheriff's Office, they took Emitt into custody on Wednesday night. He was booked into the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility in Tennessee on first-degree premediated murder and burglary charges. He is expected to be extradited to the John E. Polk Correction Facility for first appearance at a later date.
“Our hearts go out to Eveline Aguilar’s family members who have continually sought justice for Eveline,” said Sheriff Lemma. “Thanks to the dedication and persistence from our Major Crimes and Forensic Units, and our partners from FDLE and Knoxville PD, we have taken this dangerous criminal off the streets.”
Lemma said Aguilar’s three sisters were watching the press conference online Thursday as the arrest was announced.
To see a press conference announcing Emitt's arrest, watch below.