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March 11, 2024

Washington Parish Sheriff's Office: DNA Evidence Breakthrough Leads to Arrest in 2020 Burglary Case

A detective with Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division (CID), in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, has made significant progress in solving a residential burglary case that took place on Highway 440 in Washington Parish. The breakthrough comes after careful investigation and analysis, even with challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding to a call for assistance on October 26, 2020, the WPSO CID joined WPSO deputies at the scene of the burglary. The detective arrived on scene and was briefed of the discovery of a pink latex glove found in the master bedroom, a peculiar item that did not belong to the homeowner. The torn glove, believed to have been discarded by the perpetrator after prying into a safe with a 5-pound Miners Pickax, was carefully collected as potential evidence, along with other items found at the scene.

Despite setbacks caused by the pandemic, including delays in DNA analysis, the detective persisted in the investigation. On October 27, 2023, DNA results from swabs collected at the scene matched with a high probability to 37 year-old Donnin Lee Brown, a person of interest in the case. This critical breakthrough led to the issuance of a warrant for Brown's arrest on charges including burglary, felon in possession of a firearm, and theft of firearms.

Subsequent developments in the case revealed further information, linking the suspect to additional stolen firearms recovered by law enforcement agencies. Through collaborative efforts with the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office, the detective was able to trace the stolen firearms to another suspect that stated the firearms were purchased from Brown.

Following thorough investigative procedures, including the collection of DNA evidence from the scene and from the primary suspect, Donnin Lee Brown, the detective received confirmation of a match from the Louisiana State Crime Lab. This breakthrough provided the necessary probable cause to issue a warrant for Brown's arrest on charges including burglary, felon in possession of firearms, and theft of firearms.

Following an extensive pursuit across multiple jurisdictions, the WPSO CID successfully arranged for Brown's transfer to Washington Parish for prosecution. On March 6, 2024, Brown was arrested and booked at the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office on the outstanding warrant. Subsequently, on March 7, 2024, the detective ensured Brown was safely returned to the custody of Bossier Parish Jail, pending further legal proceedings.

"This case demonstrates the dedication of our law enforcement community in pursuing justice for victims of crime," said Sheriff Randy “Country” Seal. "Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and logistical hurdles, we remained committed to resolving this case and holding the perpetrator accountable."

The Washington Parish Sheriff's Office extends its gratitude to all law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation and apprehension of Donnin Lee Brown. The successful collaboration highlights the importance of perseverance and cooperation in combating crime.

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