Police Link DNA to Home Invasion, Murder Suspect

SAN BERNARDINO – A registered sex offender, charged with the November home invasion robbery and killing of a 76-year-old woman, was linked to the crime by DNA evidence, police said on Tuesday.

Jerome Anthony Rogers

Jerome Anthony Rogers, 57, was arrested last Friday on suspicion of murder, accused of killing 76-year-old Mary Beth Blaskey. Police added that sexual crimes were also committed in the Nov. 14 attack on Fremontia Drive. Blaskey had been found dead by one of her sons.

Police called the case time consuming and complex, and likely involves at least one other suspect. Chief of Police Robert Handy said thousands of hours have been spent on it. A break in the case came from one person  who knew the suspect, said Sgt. Gary Robertson. He said people that knew Rogers saw him in late December with items that seemed “out of place” for him. Because of that tip, San Bernardino police had found a suspect.

Blaskey’s home had been ransacked while her 2001 Lexus ES300 was also discovered to be missing. Nearly three weeks later, police found the car in another section of San Bernardino.
Hundreds of pieces of evidence gathered at the scene led to more than 24 hours of forensics personnel processing what was found at Blaskey’s home. Police confirmed that Rogers’ DNA was found at the scene.

The victim, Mary Beth Blaskey, in an image posted on a tribute website in her name

Rogers, who had been convicted of committing sex crimes with a child younger than 14, told police he was not involved in Blaskey’s death, said Robertson. He had been arrested last year on suspicion of failing to register as a sex offender. He is being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

Police are still investigating deaths in other home invasion robberies, saying, “We’re far from done, and we will not rest until we have all suspects in custody for all three of these cases.” In 2010, Wanda Lee Paulin was killed, another incident occurred in 2005, with the killing of Josephine Frances Kelly and, in January, 84-year-old Lorna Gable died about a month after another home invasion attack. Police have not confirmed or denied a connection in any of those killings.

Read More:

LA Times: Man arrested in connection with slaying of San Bernardino woman

KABC: Suspect arrested in IE home invasion, murder of elderly woman

Redlands Daily Facts: Police make arrest in 76-year-old San Bernardino woman’s slaying


Police Link DNA to Home Invasion, Murder Suspect was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin

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Obrey "Lee" Brown has worked for 10 newspapers and magazines in the Bay Area, central and southern California. In 2005, he wrote "A Citrus Test: Football in Black & White." He can be reached at baseballOLB@hotmail.com.