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Ventura County

Blood in Truck Linked to Slain College Student, Experts Say

April 19, 2002|TRACY WILSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Blood found inside a truck driven by murder suspect Vincent Sanchez genetically matches DNA taken from slain Moorpark College student Megan Barroso, forensic scientists testified Thursday.

Scientist Kristin Rogahn told a judge during Sanchez's preliminary hearing on murder and related charges that she noticed a blood stain inside the defendant's cab while examining the green Ford Ranger for possible evidence.

Rogahn, who works for the Ventura County Sheriff's Department crime lab, took a sample of the blood, which was later matched through DNA tests to Barroso.

Scientist Shanin Sullivan, who also works for the crime lab, testified that the odds were about one in a trillion that the blood came from someone else.

"The two profiles were identical," Sullivan testified.

Although the truck upholstery appeared clean, blood was also detected through chemical tests on the left side of the passenger seat, the center console and beneath the seat, Rogahn testified.

Last week Sanchez's brother testified he saw the defendant washing the truck on July 5--the same day Barroso, 20, was reported missing.

Her bullet-riddled car was found abandoned near a freeway overpass, and her remains were recovered a month later in a canyon near Simi Valley.

Prosecutors contend Sanchez, a 31-year-old Simi Valley handyman, shot the Moorpark woman, then kidnapped and sexually assaulted her before she died. They are seeking the death penalty.

Defense attorneys say there is no evidence of rape, however, and have tried to show that Barroso could have died almost immediately after being shot.

Testimony is scheduled to resume today in Ventura County Superior Court.

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