Affidavit: Murder suspect's DNA found on cigarette at Vancouver - KPTV - FOX 12

Affidavit: Murder suspect's DNA found on cigarette at Vancouver crime scene

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David James Barker, jail booking photo David James Barker, jail booking photo
Columbia House Apartments, senior housing facility in Vancouver where Sharon Allison was killed in May 2015. (FOX 12 file image) Columbia House Apartments, senior housing facility in Vancouver where Sharon Allison was killed in May 2015. (FOX 12 file image)
Sharon Allison (Photo: Vancouver PD) Sharon Allison (Photo: Vancouver PD)
VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

DNA on a cigarette butt found in the home of a 66-year-old woman who was killed in May 2015 helped lead to the arrest of a murder suspect, according to court documents.

The body of 66-year-old Sharon Allison was discovered at the Columbia House Apartments on the 100 block of West 24th Street on May 9, 2015.

Allison lived alone on the first floor of the complex, which is a subsidized facility for seniors operated by the Vancouver Housing Authority.

A caretaker told detectives she saw Allison on the afternoon of May 5, 2015, and was scheduled to see her again in the days ahead, but Allison did not answer her door.

Police searched the home on May 9 and found Allison's body in a large recycling can in the main living area, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The affidavit states a cigarette butt was recovered from the bathroom and a detached lamp stand leg was located near Allison's body. Both pieces of evidence were sent to the Washington State Patrol crime lab for DNA processing.

Family and friends told investigators Allison didn't smoke cigarettes. She was also described as naively trusting and vulnerable to be taken advantage of.

According to court documents, Allison was violently attacked years ago and suffered a traumatic brain injury, leaving her with permanent mental and physical disabilities. Family members said she had trouble taking care of herself, but desired to remain independent, so she lived alone and got around with the assistance of a walker.

An autopsy determined her death was a homicide caused by blunt head trauma. Court documents state the murder weapon was believed to be the lamp stand leg.

A maintenance worker at the apartment complex told detectives he saw Allison on May 8 in the hallway near her apartment with a man unfamiliar to him. Court documents state nobody saw Allison alive after that.

In November 2015, DNA on the cigarette was connected to 38-year-old David James Barker. A probable cause affidavit states the maintenance worker who saw Allison with an unknown man was given a lineup of mug shots. He identified a photo of Barker as the man with Allison.

DNA testing on the lamp stand leg was completed in February and showed a mixture consistent with three people, including Allison and Barker, according to court documents.

The U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force arrested Barker in Portland on Friday. He is facing the charge of second-degree murder, according to a probable cause affidavit.

A possible motive has not been released in this case.

Court documents state Barker was arrested in Vancouver less than a month before Allison was killed on the charge of malicious mischief. He was released from jail on April 28, 2015 with no probation or parole.

His last documented contact with law enforcement was on Nov. 21, 2015 in Portland, according to court documents. Barker was listed as homeless at that time. 

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