Judge orders accused killer to submit DNA, other evidence

A judge has ordered murder suspect Jerry Nemnich to submit DNA, fingerprints and other identifying information to police as part of their investigation into the 1975 stabbing deaths of a Grand Junction mother and daughter.

In an order issued Friday and made public Monday, Mesa County District Judge Brian Flynn allowed Grand Junction police to use a swab to collect cells from inside Nemnich’s mouth. Police also will be able to collect photographs of Nemnich, samples of his handwriting and his fingerprints and palm prints.

It’s unknown why authorities want those pieces of information. Prosecutors earlier this month filed under seal a motion to collect so-called “non-testimonial identification” evidence.

Nemnich, 64, of Longmont was arrested last month in connection with the slayings of 24-year-old Linda Benson and her 5-year-old daughter, Kelley. Steve Benson, Linda’s husband and Kelley’s stepfather, found their bodies inside the family’s apartment at 1300 N. 21st St. on July 25, 1975.

Police were able to link Nemnich to the case using DNA evidence. Further details about Nemnich’s arrest are contained in an arrest affidavit that also remains sealed.

Nemnich, who has been charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and burglary, is due back in court Wednesday.


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