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DNA evidence contributes to new arrest in 2011 murder in Tooele County

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Posted at 8:38 AM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 20:18:34-04

TOOELE, Utah - Nearly five years after her death, Mark Uanrein learned how his neighbor, Evelynn Derricott, was killed.

"We always wondered when it was going to come out," he said. "We knew there was DNA evidence and stuff, but nobody knew how she was killed."

According to a probable cause statement, Derricott was hit with a hammer 14 times.

Early Friday morning, Tooele police arrested 23-year-old Rogelio Diaz. Police say they linked his family to the crime thanks to advanced DNA technology. Gary Searle, Chief Deputy Tooele County Attorney, explained how it works during a press conference Friday.

"Familial DNA is a process the crime lab was able to develop, as Chief Kirby said, through software that they use, giving us a profile of a family member or family members who are already in the database," he said.

The crime lab knew the suspect was related to a member in the database. From there, Tooele City Police Chief Ron Kirby says they linked the crime to Rogelio Diaz.

"He had connections, both to close proximity to the Derricott home, and he had connections to where the car was dropped off," Kirby said.

Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead will be filing charges next week.

"This will bring a lot of closure to the Derricott family," Broadhead said. "This is a great use of technology, but in addition to the technology that we have, we just had great police work that was done."

This arrest will hopefully bring peace of mind to a neighborhood that always wondered what really happened to Evelynn Derricott.

"Glad that they found them, and the family is going to be able to have some closure now," Uanrein said.