A transient who later committed suicide was the killer of a mentally disabled Carlsbad woman whose Valentine’s Day slaying went unsolved for nearly a dozen years, authorities announced Tuesday.
David Mabrito, then 38, beat 39-year-old Jodine Serrin to death at her Swallow Lane condominium on Feb. 14, 2007, according to police.
Investigators ultimately were able to use DNA-evidence comparisons and consultations with genealogical experts to identify Mabrito as Serrin’s murderer, according to police. He killed himself in 2011, Lt. Greg Koran said.
“We are thankful to provide a resolution of this case to Jodine’s family,” Carlsbad Police Chief Neil Gallucci said. “We never forgot Jodine, and we are grateful to have identified the person responsible for her tragic murder.”
In response to the closure of the cold-case homicide investigation, members the victim’s family said they would be “forever grateful to the Carlsbad Police Department for their outstanding efforts in attaining justice through resolution of this tragic case.”
“Jodine taught us all with her special challenges, perseverance and love of nature,” the family stated. “There was joy in her laughter, love in her heart and faith in her soul.”
Serrin, who was high functioning despite her cognitive challenges and active in several social organizations for the mentally ill, was found dead by her parents when they went to her home on the night of the murder after being unable to reach her by telephone.
When they let themselves in with their own set of keys, they found a partially dressed man in bed with Serrin, “engaged in apparent intimate activity with (her),” according to a website established by police to seek tips in the case.
Concerned that the stranger was taking advantage of his daughter, Serrin’s father told him to get dressed.
The parents then waited in the living room to allow Serrin a moment of privacy, expecting an embarrassed couple to eventually emerge from the bedroom. When that failed to happen, “the father entered to find that the man was gone and his daughter had been brutally murdered,” according to a police statement.
An autopsy determined that the victim died of blunt-force head injuries.
Last year, local detectives sought the help of Virginia-based Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company that specializes in DNA phenotyping, which predicts physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence.
Based on genetic evidence found at the murder scene, the company produced a computer-generated mug shot and trait predictions for the perpetrator, included the subject’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling and face shape.
— City News Service
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