Williamson County investigators take new look at cold case - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Williamson County investigators take new look at cold case

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WILLIAMSON CO., Ill. -- An unsolved murder, gets another look by investigators. The sheriff's department says its cold case squad recently began looking over the case of Edson Patton, who was killed 13 years ago. 

Previously, investigators told News 3, they were able to track Patton's movement the day of his murder through cities such as Galatia and Carrier Mills.

"He had a habit of going to different towns and looking for females to clean his house," said Captain Brian Thomas, who has since retired. 11

Thomas also suggested in 2016 that there could be multiple suspects, "We were able to determine that there was a male and a female in the house, we believe, at the time of the murder." 

Yard workers found Patton's fatally stabbed body inside his home, two days after Christmas.

"Returned the next morning, worked a couple of hours, he  never came out. They discovered him inside the house," Thomas explained. 

Now, McCabe says investigators were thorough in their leads, "I do know that over 100 interviews had been conducted in reference to this case, and over 100 pieces of evidence have been collected." 

Evidence helpful to the county's cold case squad, which began looking at the case again as recently as four months ago.

"I think there are some potential biological evidence that they are wanting to possibly take a look at and re-examine," McCabe explains.

Karl Gusentine, Lieutenant Detective for the Williamson County Sheriff's Department, says advances in DNA technology have helped solve cold cases, "They are constantly coming up with new ways to profile it and use it." 

In the past, authorities needed to send a specific amount of blood or hair stands to be processed at DNA labs. Now, all they need to collect are skin cells.

"If you touched something and skin cells transferred to that item, we could swab that item," Gusentine explains. "If we had a suspect, we could send in their DNA for comparison or check in the DNA database." 

McCabe just wants the cold case squad to find the right evidence to put those responsible behind bars, so family members like Patton's son can find closure.

"Knowing who did it and proving it in a court of law are two different things," he says.

Investigators asking anyone with information on this case, to contact the Williamson County Sheriff's Department
 

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