DNA Evidence Links Modesto Man to 2002 Killing; Suspect Facing Murder Charge

A Modesto man is now facing a murder charge for a crime committed over a decade ago, due to newly-evaluated DNA evidence. 

In a release issued Monday, the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) stated that Steward Teofilo was arraigned for the 2002 Long Beach murder of 33-year-old Maurice Howard and is being held in the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail.

On April 21, detectives arrested Stewart Teofilo in Modesto, California in court as he was facing unrelated charges based on cold case DNA evidence that had been shelved at the date of the crime. 

According to the release, Howard was found dead inside of his vehicle at 1200 Pier E in the Port of Long Beach with multiple stab wounds. The LBPD state that a large amount of physical evidence was collected, but DNA technology at the time was not advanced enough to determine a lead in the case. 

The release said that several years later, cold case investigators submitted the evidence to the Los Angeles County Crime Lab, hoping that medical advancements could solve the crime. In May of 2014, the release states that “A DNA profile from an evidence sample submitted resulted in a match to 39-year-old Stewart Teofilo of Patterson, California.” 

Teofilo is expected to appear in court on May 1 and the motive for murder is still under investigation, according to the LBPD.



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