Biometric Background Check Cracks Decades-Old Cold Case in Florida

Biometric Background Check Cracks Decades-Old Cold Case in Florida

Biometric technology has helped to crack open a 20-year-old murder case in Delray Beach, Florida.

In August of 1998, 68-year-old Sondra Better was working alone in a consignment shop when she was stabbed and bludgeoned to death. Though suspicious fingerprints were left behind at the scene of the crime, they didn’t match any criminal records.

Twenty years later, in December of 2018, 51-year-old Todd Barket submitted his fingerprints for a background check as part of a job application. Run through a national fingerprint database, the prints were matched to those from the Delray Beach crime scene. Barket was arrested, and subsequent tests found a DNA match to crime scene evidence as well. He’s now being held in Hillsborough County, awaiting extradition to Palm Beach County.

The news comes on the heels of another case, in Baton Rouge, where recent fingerprint matching exonerated a man who was wrongly convicted of rape and assault and had already served 36 years in prison. Both cases illustrate the profound impact that contemporary biometric technology can have in forensic investigations and criminal cases, with this latest cold case breakthrough also highlighting how even routinized biometric identification is helping to fight crime.

Sources: NBC Miami, WPTV

March 28, 2019 – by Alex Perala