DNA links NYC man to 1986 slaying

Man exonerated after serving 20 years

Published December 30, 2009 3:44PM (EST)

Authorities say a DNA test has helped them solve a 1986 murder -- a crime for which another man served more than 20 years in prison before being exonerated.

New York police took 45-year-old Kevin Benefield, of the Bronx, into custody Tuesday on a warrant issued by Wallingford, Conn., police in connection with the slaying of Barbara Pelkey.

An arrest affidavit released Wednesday says investigators took a sample of Benefield's saliva at the time and recently submitted it to the state police forensic lab. Authorities say DNA tests matched the sample with evidence found on the victim.

Benefield's mother says she doesn't believe he had anything to do with the murder.

Kenneth Ireland was previously convicted in Pelkey's death, but was freed in August when DNA tests proved his innocence.

By Associated Press

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