Originally created 01/19/01

DNA does not match suspects

AIKEN - Laboratory results show no match between semen found at the Jessica Carpenter slaying and an Aiken man named as the killer by a jailhouse informant, Aiken authorities said.

DNA obtained from the hair, blood and saliva of 23-year-old Tonnie Nathaniel Baldwin do not match DNA collected at the crime scene.

"The Aiken Department of Public Safety received today from the SLED lab DNA results from the Jessica Carpenter homicide. These results indicate we do not have any matches at this time from the DNA samples," Capt. Tom Galardi wrote in a press release issued Friday afternoon.

Mr. Baldwin has been in jail since Oct. 29, charged in a rash of crimes over the last six months, including armed robbery, sexual assault and burglary. On Thursday night, police charged him with unrelated crimes from last year, including a carjacking, armed robbery, arson and possession of a firearm.

Craig Gantt, an inmate in prison on a parole violation, told Aiken police last week that Mr. Baldwin confessed to killing Jessica Carpenter Aug. 4. Judge James R. Barber III agreed on Tuesday to allow investigators to take blood, hair and saliva from Mr. Baldwin to get a DNA sample and make the comparisons.

The negative results means the case remains unsolved after five months of intensive investigation.

DNA samples have been compared to dozens of suspects without a positive result.

Judy Carpenter returned to her Crosland Park home Aug. 4 and found her 17-year-old daughter dead. An autopsy showed the cause of death as internal bleeding and lack of oxygen.

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (803) 648-1395 or greg.rickabaugh@augustachronicle.com.


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