On July 25, 2008, Margaret Binkele was found dead in her Heather Pines Drive home. Binkele, who had been deceased for several days before her body was found, was later determined to have been beaten and stabbed, sustaining severe head trauma.
"During the autopsy a sexual assault kit was completed which resulted in the collection of an unknown DNA profile," said GCPD public information officer Cpl. Jake Smith in a released statement. "The DNA profile was entered in CODIS (Combined DNA Index System). After an extensive investigation and with all leads exhausted, the investigation was moved to a 'cold case' status."
On March 20, 2014, detectives received notice that a match had been located in the CODIS database.
Between the time of the murder and the time of the CODIS hit, Salmeron-Diaz had been deported to El Salvador following an unrelated arrest. He returned to the United States and was arrested again on Dec. 11, 2013, in Arizona after he and five other suspects were apprehended by U.S. Park Rangers while transporting nearly 400 pounds of marijuana. After his conviction, his DNA was obtained and entered into CODIS, leading to the match in the Sugar Hill homicide case.
GCPD detectives traveled to New Mexico where Salmeron-Diaz is being held in federal prison.
"They conducted an interview with him and obtained a DNA sample to be used as confirmation of the CODIS hit," Smith said. "Detectives returned to Georgia and continued to conduct a follow up investigation. As a result of the investigation a warrant for murder was obtained for Salmeron-Diaz."
Salmeron-Diaz remains in custody at the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, New Mexico. Upon his release. he will be transported to Gwinnett County to face the murder charge.
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