Johnny Clarke and Lisa Straub were killed at home in Holland, Ohio home and for years, police have been trying to find out who the DNA samples belong to.
The method by which the couple was killed wasn’t common in Toledo. In fact, Captain Matt Luettke had never seen a case like it in the area.
In January 2011, 21-year-old Johnny Clarke and his girlfriend Lisa, 20, were bound with duct tape around their hands and feet. A plastic bag was taped over each of their heads, suffocating them to death.
Johnny’s father had found the young couple and had ripped the bags from their heads, but he was too late.
At the crime scene, cupboards and drawers had been emptied, but jewelry and money had been left behind. There were also no footprints in the recent snowfall, but there had been damage done to the interior garage door.
There was a lack of evidence at the crime scene, recalls attorney John Thebes, “It was remarkable how clean the scene was. Usually you have blood, fingerprints." One piece of evidence would prove enough for arrest though, as a cigarette butt at the scene was taken and analysed.
The brutal murder had a suspect nine months later, on the 22nd of September 2011. Sam Williams was arrested across the street from his house in Holland when he went to buy cigarettes.
"I had a warrant for one of my domestic violence cases that I was on probation for. I'm like, 'I've got 30 days in jail. I don't want to do the probation'. As the U.S. Marshal was putting handcuffs on me, I said, 'You really come and get people for misdemeanor domestic violence cases?'", he told 11 Investigates.
Williams was sentenced to life in prison due to his DNA being on the cigarette found at the crime scene. However, his DNA wasn’t the only sample found at the house.
The homicide case remains open to this day, and police are now looking at the other DNA evidence collected from the house in 2011. There are currently four sets of female DNA and one male sample that haven’t been identified. The samples were found on Johnny’s trousers, on his phone and even on the battery inside it. There were also numerous sets of prints on the duct tape used to bind the couple.
"It's going to be somebody who has information that solves it for us," Captian Matt Luettke said. "I’m not saying that DNA could not solve the crime. But what’s going to solve this case is someone is going to come forward and say this is what happened."
If you know any information regarding this case, please call CrimeStoppers at 419-255-1111 or the detective's bureau at 419-213-4917.