Police: Untested DNA leads to Mississippi cold case arrest
WEST POINT, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man arrested in a nearly two-decade old cold case will have an initial court appearance Friday.
Frederick Fitzgerald Gandy, 55, of West Point, was arrested Monday afternoon and charged with attempted murder, rape, burglary, and attempted armed robbery, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reported. He is being held in the Clay County Jail on a $950,000 bond.
The case stems from January 2003. The victim had urged the West Point Police Department to reopen the case. After COVID-19 further delayed the investigation, she asked again on April 5. Detective Ramirez Ivy took on the case.
Ivy discovered untested DNA evidence. It was sent to the state crime lab in Pearl. Police said testing methods not available in 2003 delivered results that implicated Gandy. Officials refused to provide the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal with details about the evidence,
“The pretrial rules do not allow us to say much about the evidence,” Scott Colom, 16th Circuit District Attorney, told the newspaper. “I will say this is very solid evidence. I am confident we will be able to get a conviction.”
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Colom specified the testing was not genetic genealogy. The DNA testing developed a profile that could be entered into the national crime data bank, CODIS, where Gandy was first identified as a suspect.
The victim said she does not blame police for the two decades she waited before an arrest was made. She applauded detective Ivy for treating her humanely, which she said is often missing in cases like hers. She now works as a victim’s advocate in Tennessee.
Gandy’s attorney could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.