CHEYENNE - A Texas man faces charges of murder, sexual assault and incest in the 1985 death of his daughter in Wyoming.
Jerry Joe Bradish, 60, of New Fairview, Texas, waived extradition to Wyoming at a court appearance Wednesday, Fremont County Attorney Ed Newell said.
Teresa Bradish, 13, was found strangled by the roadside in September 1985 in Fremont County. Newell said she had left a group home for troubled youth hours before she was killed.
In a telephone interview from Texas, Newell said Bradish was arrested Tuesday evening without incident by the Wise County (Texas) Sheriff's Office. Newell said Bradish will be brought back to Wyoming in coming days.
According to records filed in state court in Wyoming, recent DNA testing shows sperm recovered from the girl's body matches DNA from work gloves that Jerry Bradish, a worker at an asphalt and paving company, threw away in Texas last year.
Bradish didn't enter a plea at Wednesday's court hearing and wasn't represented by a lawyer, Newell said. Newell emphasized that Bradish is presumed innocent. A Wyoming judge set bail before Bradish's arrest at $1 million.
"It doesn't get any more important than this, and nobody wants to see a murder case go unsolved, so of course we feel good to bring charges," Newell said.
William Braddock, detective sergeant with the Fremont County Sheriff's Department, filed a sworn statement in state court in Fremont County to support the charges against Bradish.
Braddock states that Bradish was working in Riverton and living in a small camper trailer at the time of his daughter's death. Newell said Bradish left Wyoming in 1995.
Braddock states that Teresa Bradish told other residents of the group home that she had received a telephone call from her father earlier on the night she was killed. After his daughter was found dead, Bradish denied to investigators that he had called his daughter that night, Braddock said.
Bradish collected on a $10,000 insurance policy on the girl after her death, according to Braddock's statement.
Braddock states that the case went cold in 1985. But he recently asked the Wyoming State Crime Lab to test sperm samples taken from the girl's body. Braddock received a report in February 2007 that suggested a parent-child relationship between the victim and the donor of the sperm found on her body.
Braddock traveled to Texas in March 2007 and worked with Texas police to get a DNA sample. He recovered some work gloves from the garbage can outside Bradish's residence.
Braddock states that the Wyoming State Crime Lab later determined that DNA from the gloves is consistent with the DNA from the sperm from the girl's body.
Bruce Salzburg, Wyoming attorney general, said Wednesday that the state crime lab invested about 400 hours of work in the case. He said the only tests available in 1985 were those to determine blood type and look for trace evidence.
"There's no statute of limitations on murder, so this is kind of a miracle of science I think," Salzburg said of bringing charges in the 27-year old case.
"The technology and the analyses available to us to analyze cases these days have just progressed by leaps and bounds since 1985," Salzburg said.