(AKRON, Ohio) - Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation join the Akron Police Department in announcing the arrest of a suspect in the May 28 murder of an elderly Akron woman.
This morning, 38 year-old Devon Daire Owens of Warren was taken into custody and charged with aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and rape in the death of 73 year-old Clara Virginia Wilfong.
"We are deeply thankful to have been able to assist Akron Police in providing Clara Wilfong's family with some sense of relief and peace in this horrific case," said Attorney General Cordray. "Akron Police contacted our BCI crime lab within hours of Ms. Wilfong's body being discovered.
Members of our lab staff immediately jumped into the case and spent hours doing forensic biology testing and DNA testing.
They took this case from evidence intake through DNA profile development and were able to upload the case to the state DNA database, all within 48 hours. This attention and assistance is what we strive to provide to all our law enforcement partners across the state."
Akron Police say quick and effective partnerships played a key role in identifying Owens as their suspect. "Having the suspect's DNA profile in-hand so quickly gave us the key to finding this violent perpetrator," said Akron Police Chief Augustus Hall. "Our detectives were able to respond to tips knowing that the DNA profile would connect the correct suspect to this murder. Once we made that connection earlier this week, our partners in the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force and Warren Police Department provided valuable assistance in apprehending Mr. Owens at a home in Warren."
Wilfong had been found, brutally attacked and unresponsive, in her Brown Street apartment by her granddaughter after not responding to phone calls or knocks at her door.
The granddaughter and other witnesses forced entry and discovered a partially-clothed male suspect in the bedroom with Wilfong. He quickly fled out a window.
Owens was transported today to the Summit County Jail, where he is being held pending arraignment tomorrow at 9 a.m. in Akron Municipal Court.