Evidence, DNA samples and persistent investigators recently led to the arrest of two men who were involved in a couple of "cold case" armed robberies of convenience stores, said Bulloch County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel.
Donald Anthony Parker, 19, Colfax Road, was arrested Sunday on charges of armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and kidnapping stemming from a June 10, 2006 armed robbery of a convenience store at the intersection of Clito Road and Ga. 24.
Around 11:30 p.m. that night he entered the store, drew a pistol, demanded cash and fled on foot, McDaniel said. Tracking dogs lost the trail where Parker apparently got into a vehicle and left the area, he said.
But while investigating other crimes this spring, Bulloch County Sheriff's Inv. Bill Black discovered information about the robbery that implicated Parker, and issued a warrant for his arrest, he said.
Parker was being detained at the Treutlen County Youth Detention Center on other charges, and upon his release from that agency, was taken into custody and is in the Bulloch County Jail without bond, McDaniel said.
Another man is now behind bars on charges stemming from an even older armed robbery case.
Bradley Donte Lewis, 20, Lewis Street , was arrested Sunday on charges of kidnapping, armed robbery and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime.
Blood left behind at the scene of a Sept. 25, 2003 armed robbery of a convenience store just down the road from the Bulloch County Jail — at the intersection of U.S. 301 North and Veteran's Memorial Parkway — led to Lewis' arrest, McDaniel said.
With the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's crime lab having a severe backlog, sometimes the investigations take a while when investigators await crime lab results, he said. But DNA testing led to Lewis being identified as a suspect in that robbery.
Lewis came back to the scene in November 2003, and that time he was caught, he said. He was only 16 at the time, and was sent to a youth correctional facility for six years. He was incarcerated at the time evidence implicated him in the Sept. 2003 robbery, McDaniel said.
Lewis was in the Youth Detention Center in Eastman, ready for release, when Bulloch County Inv. Walter Deal took him into custody for the earlier armed robbery, McDaniel said. Deal investigated the robberies with Inv. Jim Riggs, he said.
Just because time lapses doesn't mean a crime will go unpunished, McDaniel said.
"It never goes away. You never get away with it," he said. "Even after years of looking over your shoulder, they should (keep looking). We never go away. It's just a matter of getting enough evidence to lock them up."