Police in the US have arrested a long-haul trucker whose DNA allegedly links him to three cold case murders.
Detectives in Iowa say DNA evidence links Clark Perry Baldwin to the killings of three women whose bodies were dumped separately in Wyoming and Tennessee in the early 1990s.
The 58-year-old was arrested at his home in Waterloo, Iowa yesterday.
He has been charged with murder over the violent deaths of the women, including two who were pregnant.
Investigators have not ruled out whether Baldwin had a role in other unsolved slayings from that era.
Baldwin was arrested after investigators used semen and other material recovered from the three victims to develop DNA profiles of their perpetrators, according to court documents unsealed in Wyoming. Last year, they learned that the same profile matched all three cases.
Investigators zeroed in on Baldwin because one of his relatives had uploaded DNA to a commercial genealogy site that was similar to the suspect’s profile, court documents say.
Last month in Waterloo, the FBI collected DNA from Baldwin’s trash and a shopping cart he used at Walmart and it matched the profile.
In Wyoming, Baldwin is charged in the deaths of two unidentified women whose bodies were found in 1992 separately in Sweetwater and Sheridan counties.
A female truck driver discovered the nude body of the first victim in March 1992 near the Bitter Creek Truck turnout on Interstate 80 in southwestern Wyoming. An autopsy determined the woman suffered trauma to the head consistent with strangulation and her body had likely been in the snow for several weeks.
A month later, Wyoming Department of Transportation workers found the partially mummified body of a pregnant woman in a ditch off Interstate 90, near Sheridan in northern Wyoming.
An autopsy didn’t determine the cause of death but found the victim had an injury potentially consistent with suffering a blow to the head. She also had likely been there for weeks.
Wyoming investigators never identified the women and referred to them as “Bitter Creek Betty” and “I-90 Jane Doe.” Both were believed to be in their late teens or early 20s, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation Cmdr. Matt Waldock said.
In Tennessee, Baldwin is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the 1991 killing of a 32-year-old pregnant woman from Virginia, Pamela McCall, and her foetus.
McCall was found in woods off Interstate 65 in Spring Hill, Tennessee in March 1991. An autopsy determined McCall had neck injuries and died of strangulation. Sperm was recovered from pantyhose worn by McCall, who was last seen at a Tennessee truck stop days earlier.
Baldwin, who has previously lived in Nashua, Iowa, and Springfield, Missouri, was a cross-country truck driver at the time.
Court documents say that he was accused of raping a woman in Wheeler County, Texas, at gunpoint in 1991, and that his name surfaced during a 1992 homicide investigation in Iowa.
His ex-wife told police then that Baldwin once bragged about “killing a girl out west by strangulation and throwing her out of his truck,” court documents say.
Investigators are looking into whether Baldwin can be linked to other unsolved homicides. “Obviously that’s something we’re hopeful for,” Cmdr. Waldock said.
That includes the 1992 death of Tammy Jo Zywicki, 21, an Iowa college student who was last seen after her car broke down on an Illinois highway. The FBI has said that a white man who was driving a semi-trailer was seen near her vehicle. Ms Zywicki’s body was found in rural Missouri, stabbed to death.
Another is the 1992 killing of Rhonda Knutson, 22, a truck stop convenience store clerk in northern Iowa who was bludgeoned to death during an overnight shift.
Investigators have released sketches of two white men who were in the store, including one truck driver. Baldwin lived in nearby Nashua then.
In 1997, Secret Service agents raided Baldwin’s apartment in Springfield, Missouri, after learning he was making counterfeit US currency on a personal computer. He and two female associates were indicted on counterfeiting charges.
Court records show Baldwin was sentenced to 18 months in prison and was released in September 1999.
In 2008, a fire destroyed a Nashua building where Baldwin operated a candle business and damaged two adjacent buildings, including one that housed the town’s newspaper. The cause of the fire was never determined.
Baldwin is being held at the Black Hawk County jail pending extradition proceedings to Tennessee.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.