to the Alabama Dept of Forensic Sciences report, January 5, 1994.
Q9 is the hair from beneath Chris Byers' ligature.
The Telltale Hairs
A hair beneath Michael Moore's ligature was
found to be one nucleotide distant the from a mitchondrial DNA sample obtained from the house of Terry Hobbs, the stepfather
of victim, Stevie Branch. MtDNA can exclude who is not the
source of the hair. The limitations of these findings are described in a new section called heteroplasmy.
The DNA of the murderer.
Another piece of DNA evidence may go further to
identify the killer. The mtDNA of the hair beneath
Chris Byers' ligature was sucessfully sequenced. This hair
was originally referenced in the January 5, 1994 evidence submission to
Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and its sequence was reported
by Bode Research Institute on page 10 of their September 27, 2007
Most interesting is who it does not belong to, virtually ruling out passive transfer.
It does not belong to:
the immediate household members, it could only be John Mark Byers or
Todd Moore's hair. (I am not trying to cast aspersions in
their direction, I'm only trying to say they haven't been eliminated as sources,
the way, for example, Detective Bryn Ridge who picked up the bodies hasn't been
- The victims.
- Terry Hobbs - it does not match his mtDNA which has been sequenced.
- Pamela Hobbs.
Mitochondrial DNA is maternally passed down with its sequence
intact. Pamela Hobbs mtDNA is the same as Steve Branch's mtDNA
and, since the hair's mtDNA does not match the victims, it can not be
from Pamela Hobbs.
- Due to an extension
of the same reason, it can not be Amanda Hobbs hair. She also
received her mother's mtDNA. So, it can not have come from the
Hobbs immediate household.
- It can not be Melissa Byers hair (same sequence as Chris Byers).
- It can not be Ryan Clark's hair (same sequence as Chris Byers).
- It can not be Diane Moore's hair (same sequence as Michael Moore).
- It can not be Dawn Moore's hair (same sequence as Michael Moore).
- The three in prison (sequenced).
The Serological Research Institute sequenced a set
of mtDNA sequences, 1 through 7, the identity of which are not provided
in the court documents. It is quite possible these are from John
Mark Byers, as he was a "person of interest." It is also possible
that it was John Mark Byers and Todd Moore, for exclusionary purposes.
Since, no note
of matching was mentioned, it would follow he (or they) is (are) not
the source of this
So whose hair is it? If the hair belongs to a
reasonable suspect, then that person would be the murderer.
To propose an innocent explanation for a hair match beneath the
ligature without a benign explanation for contact with victim Chris
Byers would be absurd.
The mitochondrial DNA sequence of the hair beneath Chris Byers ligature.