Hubcap helps lead to arrest in Fort Worth slaying

Posted Friday, Apr. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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FORT WORTH -- DNA evidence and a hubcap helped link a 34-year-old Waxahachie man to the slaying of a Fort Worth woman found dead in an alley last year, court documents state.

Rusty Allen Tyler was arrested Wednesday at his mother's Waxahachie home on a murder warrant accusing him of intentionally running over and killing Kelly Farmer, 39. He was released Thursday from the Mansfield Jail after posting a $35,000 bond.

Farmer, described by police as a prostitute who lived and worked in the Lancaster Avenue corridor, was found dead in an alley off the 2900 block of East Lancaster the morning of March 3, 2012.

According to a search warrant affidavit, homicide detective E.C. Pate found a hubcap at the scene that appeared to have come from a late-1980s Oldsmobile. Because of its location, Pate suspected that the hubcap might have fallen off the vehicle that struck Farmer.

DNA profiles obtained from swabs taken of Farmer's body were entered into the Combined DNA Index System. In October, investigators learned that the database had matched the profile to Tyler.

Pate learned that Tyler had owned a 1989 Oldsmobile since 2010 and that the model's hubcaps were similar to the one found at the scene. Pate then learned from Tyler's probation officer that Tyler had reportedly sold the car to a co-worker.

Police located and impounded the car.

Homicide Sgt. Cheryl Johnson would not speculate on whether investigators believe that Tyler had picked up Farmer seeking sex, saying only, "We have no indication that he knew the victim prior to this incident."

Tyler and family members did not respond to messages seeking comment Friday.

State records show that he was sentenced in 2010 to one year of incarceration and five years of probation for possessing a controlled substance. In 2003 in Tarrant County, he was sentenced to labor detail after pleading guilty to assaulting a woman, court records show.

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