Ohio man is charged with cold case murder of teacher who had been bridesmaid at his wedding

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Ohio man is charged with cold case murder of teacher who had been bridesmaid at his wedding after detectives find DNA match 26 years later on genealogy database

  • Clayton Bernard Foreman, 61, was arrested in Ohio on April 29 and charged with capital murder in the brutal slaying of Mary Catherine Edwards
  • Cold case detectives linked Foreman to the case in April last year when DNA from the murder scene was matched to a genealogy database  
  • Foreman was arrested on April 29 in Ohio and is awaiting extradition to Texas 

An Ohio man has been charged with the sexual assault and murder of one of his then-wife’s friends 26 years ago, after his DNA was matched through a genealogy database.

Clayton Bernard Foreman, 61, was arrested in Ohio on April 29 and charged with capital murder over the brutal slaying of Mary Catherine Edwards on January 15, 1995.

Teacher Edwards was a close family friend and had even been a bridesmaid at his wedding to his first wife.   

Cold case detectives managed to link Foreman to the case in April last year when they submitted DNA evidence found on Edwards’ body to a lab for comparison to a genealogy database.

Law enforcement then collected DNA samples from trash taken from outside Foreman’s Ohio home and found a positive match, an affidavit states.

Clayton Bernard Foreman, 61, was arrested for a 1995 Texas murder in Ohio and faces a capital murder charge

Clayton Bernard Foreman, 61, was arrested for a 1995 Texas murder in Ohio and faces a capital murder charge

Mary Catherine Edwards was a Texas teacher when she was found dead in her home in 1995

Mary Catherine Edwards was a Texas teacher when she was found dead in her home in 1995

During the course of their investigation, police also say they found similarities between Edwards’ killing and a 1981 rape that Foreman had previously pleaded guilty to, 12 News Now reports. 

In the rape case, Foreman gave a school classmate a ride home after he found her stranded at a gas station. Cops say he ‘bound her hands behind her back with a belt and held a knife to her throat’ before sexually assaulting her. 

Edwards’ body was also discovered with her hands handcuffed behind her back, authorities say.

Edwards’ parents found her body at her Park Meadows, Texas, home when they went to check on her because she wasn’t answering the phone. 

Her body was found her in her bathtub with her hands handcuffed behind her back and her head under the water, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. She had been sexually assaulted and killed. 

‘There are numerous similarities in the 1981 case and the Edwards’ murder,’ the arrest affidavit, obtained by 12 News Now says. 

‘First, Edwards and the first victim both went to high school with the suspect. Secondly, their hands were bound behind their back. Thirdly, both were sexually assaulted.’  

Edwards' parents found her body at her Park Meadows, Texas, home when they went to check on her because she wasn't answering the phone. Her body was found her in the bathtub with her hands handcuffed behind her back and her head under the water

Edwards’ parents found her body at her Park Meadows, Texas, home when they went to check on her because she wasn’t answering the phone. Her body was found her in the bathtub with her hands handcuffed behind her back and her head under the water 

The Texas case went cold until last April, when investigators began using genetic genealogy to help ID the unknown suspect, News 4 San Antonio reported. 

The DNA was entered into a GEDmatch public database, which is an online service not viewable to the public that compares DNA data files from different testing companies. 

It first identified a second cousin, and police worked up and down the family tree by collecting DNA samples that were voluntarily submitted by more than 30 family members, News 4 San Antonio reported.  

Detectives found DNA connections to Clayton Bernard Foreman’s mother’s and father’s sides, and Foreman became the main suspect.   

Foreman is currently in an Ohio jail waiting to be extradited to Texas, according to Franklin County Sheriff inmate records. 

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