For Mary Catherine Edwards, the murdered Texas school teacher whose case went cold nearly 26 years ago, justice may have finally come. DNA evidence and a genealogy database led police to the arrest of Clayton Bernard Foreman, 61, last week for the 1995 murder, the New York Post reported.
Through DNA and a genealogy website, investigators were able to hone in on the accused killer’s family tree, according to reports. In April 2021, investigators reportedly collected trash they said Foreman left at the curb outside his Reynoldsburg, Ohio home. DNA on those items matched back to semen collected from Edwards’ home after her murder, police said, KFDM 6News reported.
In a probable cause affidavit obtained by 12News, investigators say they identified second cousins of the suspect from the genealogy website and were able to work up a family tree.
Detectives obtained further DNA samples as 30 DNA files were voluntarily submitted from additional distant family members, the affidavit said, 12News reported.
Edwards and Foreman were high school classmates. They both attended Forest Park High School, and Edwards was also a bridesmaid at Foreman’s 1982 wedding, a report said.
Foreman and his ex-wife divorced two years before Edwards’ murder. Foreman’s ex-wife attended Edwards’ funeral, the Post reported.
At the time of her murder, Edwards had lived alone in a townhome in Beaumont. She was last seen on the evening of Jan. 13, 1995. Her parents drove to her home after they were unable to get in touch with her. Once inside, they found their daughter in her bathroom, with her hands handcuffed behind her back and her head in water in the bathtub. She had been drowned. She had also been raped, according to KFDM.
Investigators learned that Foreman had a previous conviction for the 1981 rape of a former Forest Park High School classmate, according to KFDM. In that case, the victim reportedly also had her hands bound behind her back, KFDM reported.
Foreman pleaded guilty to that crime and received three years’ probation.
Beaumont police and prosecutors are working to extradite Foreman to Texas.