DNA trail leads to arrest of suspect in serial killings of nine women over 21 years

Using "shoe leather and science," police in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have arrested a suspect in the serial killings of nine women over 21 years.

Police said Monday that investigators matched Walter E. Ellis, 49, with DNA found on each of the bodies of the nine women killed from 1986 to 2007. Police used a search warrant Friday to obtain a DNA sample from Ellis' home. He was arrested Saturday in the Milwaukee suburb of Franklin, CNN International said.

Police Chief Edward Flynn and district attorney John Chisholm announced the investigation four months ago. They say DNA evidence linked the seven deaths to one person.

The victims ranged in age from 16 to 41, and their bodies were found between 1986 and 2007, The Associated Press reports.

Police officials have said they think someone else killed one of those victims, a white 16-year-old runaway whose throat was slashed. The other victims, all prostitutes and African-American, were strangled. And at least two were also stabbed.

The killings occurred in an area roughly bounded by N. King Drive, N. 27th St., W. North Ave. and W. Capitol Drive. One victim was found in the Menomonee River, but authorities believe she was killed elsewhere. "Good police work and good police science have led us to Walter Ellis," Flynn said Monday, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said.