Police: DNA links Ind. inmate to Ark. teen's death - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police: DNA links Ind. inmate to Ark. teen's death

(WMC-TV) - A DNA match links an Indiana inmate to the murder and rape of a 19-year-old Forrest City, Arkansas woman in 2000.

Effie Turner's daughter Tawana Blunt was brutally murdered in Forrest City on September 15, 2000.  Toikeya Blunt was just two years old when her mother was killed.  Action News 5 spoke with the family in 2007 about the cold case.

"No leads or anything after seven years, I don't understand it,"  Turner said at the time.

Tawana Blunt walked home from work to Grobmeyer Circle Apartments 12 years ago.  Her body was later found mutilated, strangled, and raped.

Five years after the family spoke, they got the call they had been praying for.

"This family has been waiting a long time for justice," said Forrest City Police Chief Edward Reynolds.

Wednesday, Forrest City investigators announced that a DNA match led to 44-year-old Anthony Lejuan Johnson, who was sitting in an Indiana prison on a domestic charge.

"This rascal thought he had gotten away with murder," said Reynolds.

"Please remember that this case is still open and some details cannot be revealed at this time," said former Forrest City Police Chief Dwight Duch.

Now 14 years old, Toikeya Blunt could not hold back tears when she heard.

"Her mother wasn't there because of some guy who took matters in his own hands and decided to play God," said Tawana Blunt's brother Calvin Blunt, who was in high school at the time of her murder.

Turner said faith finally brought them this long awaited day.

"I knew one day he was going to bring it to pass because we have prayed and we have suffered," said Turner.

A $10 million dollar bond has been set for Johnson on each rape and kidnapping charge. On capital murder he has no bond. 

Upon extradition from Indiana to Arkansas, he faces the death penalty.

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