New DNA evidence could link a local man who is suspected of leaving a butcher knife on at least one victim's pillow to a series of home break-ins in Kennewick.
The DNA found on a stocking cap at one of the homes allegedly matches James Earl Boggan, said Kennewick police Sgt. Ken Lattin. Boggan is suspected of burglarizing several houses last summer.
Police waited on the Washington State Patrol crime lab to test the DNA before forwarding the case to prosecutors. Lattin called the evidence the "missing piece to the puzzle."
Police in the Tri-Cities have been investigating the break-ins since last summer and have spent hundreds of hours on the case, Lattin told the Herald in July.
Boggan, 47, is wanted in Franklin and Benton counties on unrelated charges of burglary, attempted burglary and possession of stolen property. Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information leading to his arrest.
Boggan was last seen in the Tacoma area where he has family, officials said. Investigators believe he is not in the Tri-Cities.
As of Wednesday, no charges had been filed against Boggan in connection with the summer break-ins, police said.
Police believe Boggan broke into at least three homes in the Kennewick area between May and July, Lattin said.
West Richland police reported in July a man matching Boggan's description was involved in another burglary.
Lattin did not release on Wednesday how many burglaries police suspect Boggan may be connected to.
A 33-year-old woman's house was broken into and robbed in Kennewick on June 25. More than $5,000 worth of items were taken from the house near West Fourth Avenue and Quillan Street.
When the woman came home, she found her house ransacked and a large butcher knife from the kitchen on her bedroom pillow.
The victim's family told the Herald the knife was a clear message that whoever broke into the house could come back.
No other victims reported knives being left out, police officials said.A man matching Boggan's description was seen leaving two burglaries in June in Kennewick.
On June 4, a house on the 600 block of South Buchanan Street was burglarized. Tools, a cellphone, a laptop, a video camera and a watch were taken. A witness saw an African-American man in a black beanie near the house carrying a bag.
Two days later, a house on the 400 block of North Quebec Street was broken into. Two children came home and found the front door forced open. An African-American man with a black beanie also was seen leaving the area with a bag.
Anyone with information on Boggan's whereabouts is asked to contact Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers confidentially at 509-586-8477, 800-222-8477 or www.tricitiescrimestoppers.org.
-- Tyler Richardson: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @Ty_richardson