Sunday, June 4, 2023

This ‘CSI: Miami’ actress was threatened by a stalker for 12 many years. The FBI caught him soon after he remaining his DNA on a quickly-food items straw | Hourly Key Information

Editor’s Be aware: Warning: This story has disturbing information relevant to threats of sexual violence.


The threatening letters commenced in March 2007.

They arrived in the mail to Eva LaRue’s Southern California house – occasionally handwritten, from time to time typed – from an unidentified sender who termed himself “Freddie Krueger” and vowed to rape and destroy her and her young daughter.

The letters – additional than a few dozen of them – retained on coming for a lot more than 12 yrs, a relentless psychological assault that designed the “CSI: Miami” actress and her family members worried to stage outdoors their home.

Early on, some letters mentioned LaRue’s daughter, then 5. But in 2015, letters began arriving tackled to the youngster. The stalker also commenced calling LaRue’s daughter’s university, saying that he was her father and was outside the house to pick her up.

But with the assist of genetic genealogy, a science that was used for the first time in California to capture the Golden Point out Killer, the FBI in 2019 was equipped to choose DNA from the envelopes and operate it as a result of a database, yielding a listing of the suspect’s family. This sooner or later led them to a small town in Ohio, in which they arrested a 58-year-outdated man right after pulling his DNA from a discarded Arby’s straw.

James David Rogers was sentenced Thursday to 40 months in federal prison. The Heath, Ohio, man pleaded guilty in April to two counts of mailing threatening communications, one depend of threats by interstate communications, and two counts of stalking.

“I forgive you, but I are not able to overlook,” LaRue instructed him at the sentencing in a Los Angeles County courtroom. “The fear is with me without end.”

LaRue is a previous elegance queen and longtime actress who appeared for a lot of a long time as a health practitioner on the cleaning soap opera “All My Small children.” She’s possibly most effective known for her seven seasons on the criminal offense drama “CSI: Miami,” ending in 2012.

Her character was a DNA analyst for the Miami-Dade Police Office, which grew to become a bitter irony when authorities identified DNA on envelopes made up of the threatening letters but could not pinpoint a suspect.

LaRue was halfway by means of her second total period on “CSI: Miami” when the initial letter confirmed up at her residence. Other people quickly followed.

“I am heading to f**king stalk you right up until the working day you die,” mentioned just one, according to a 2019 federal indictment of Rogers.

“There will be no area on this earth that I … (just cannot) obtain you. I am heading to rape you,” claimed an additional letter, in which the stalker also threatened to rape and impregnate LaRue’s daughter.

The letters had been signed “Freddie Krueger,” the fictional killer from the horror film collection “A Nightmare on Elm Road.” Several had been postmarked from Youngstown, Ohio.

LaRue instructed CNN she was so terrified that she eventually offered her household and moved with her family members to Italy, where they lived for several months with a buddy. She then returned to California and acquired a new home underneath an LLC – a small business entity that provides restricted liability security – to defend her identification, but the letters began demonstrating up at that deal with as effectively, she mentioned.

LaRue and her daughter “drove circuitous routes property, slept with weapons nearby and experienced discussions about how to search for assistance quickly if [Rogers] located them and tried out to damage them,” federal prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

“They experimented with to anonymize their addresses as a lot as attainable by preventing acquiring mail and packages at their actual deal with,” prosecutors mentioned. “To no avail. Each and every time they moved, [the] letters – and the victims’ terror – would generally comply with.”

In 2015, the loved ones started out acquiring letters dealt with to LaRue’s daughter. At the time, she was about 13.

“I am the gentleman who has been stalking for (the) final 7 yrs. Now I have set my eye on you also,” the initial a person go through, in accordance to the indictment. One more 1 read, “You glance so lovely in your pictures on google. Are you all set to be the mother of my child.”

The FBI collected DNA from a lot of of the envelopes but didn’t know whose it was right until 2019, when they turned to the rising discipline of genetic genealogy – the identical technique that had fingered the Golden Point out Killer the previous yr.

Many thanks in section to organizations these types of as 23andMe, Ancestry and GEDmatch, genetic genealogy has become a beneficial resource for regulation enforcement officers making an attempt to clear up old crimes. Authorities add a DNA info file to a community database to discover any relatives of the man or woman who might have submitted their DNA for testing. They then build out family trees and slim down probable suspects by means of aged-fashioned detective operate until a lead suspect emerges.

Even so, investigators nevertheless need to acquire a sample of the suspect’s DNA and make a match before they can make an arrest.

After the evidence pointed to Rogers, FBI brokers started surveilling him. FBI brokers traveled to Ohio in the fall of 2019, previous FBI specific agent Stephen Busch and former FBI legal professional Steve Kramer instructed CNN.

When Rogers still left his position as a nurse’s assistant at an assisted living facility and went to an Arby’s on his way household, the FBI followed and viewed him consume his food and discard the bag in a Dumpster, Busch and Kramer stated.

Agents raided the Dumpster and extracted Rogers’ DNA from a soda straw in the bag, Busch and Kramer stated. It matched the DNA from the envelopes sent to LaRue and her daughter, they claimed.

The FBI arrested Rogers at his household early 1 morning in November 2019.

Rogers’ conviction marks the first time genetic genealogy has solved a scenario on the federal degree, Busch and Kramer explained to CNN.

At his sentencing Thursday, Rogers told the decide through a online video url from Ohio that he grew up in an abusive home and was bullied in college. He explained he is acquiring psychological overall health procedure.

“I sincerely apologize for what I did for the last 12 many years, placing you and your loved ones through hellish behavior,” he explained to LaRue. “I accept comprehensive duty. I hope you can set this guiding you and at some stage never ever assume about me again.”

LaRue and her daughter, Kaya McKenna Callahan, at the 27th Annual LA Art Show Gala  on January 19, 2022, in Los Angeles.

LaRue then addressed Rogers in her sufferer impact assertion, thanking him for his apology but telling the choose, “I am so worried what will happen when he receives out out.”

She grew emotional as she instructed the court docket how the repeated threats took a toll on her and her household and deprived them of simple freedoms.

“We have experienced yrs of this,” she mentioned. “This is over and above deviant actions.”

LaRue’s daughter Kaya Callahan, now 20, also became emotional as she told the courtroom how she was traumatized by Rogers’ threats.

After Rogers contacted her college, she said there was these kinds of “paranoia” about her protection that she was escorted every working day to and from the school making to the parking whole lot.

“I was scared for my existence,” she claimed. Callahan explained her panic still lingers.

“I want to come to feel Ok yet again,” she said. “Safe.”

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