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He Reported Finding Her Body in 1988 — Now He's Charged With Murdering Her

People logo People 2/8/2018 Chris Harris
a man smiling for the camera © Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

Arizona police believe a decades-old homicide case has been solved, as advances in DNA science have led them to a suspect in the sexual assault and slaying of a 27-year-old woman.

And, police say, the suspect is the very man who initially contacted them after finding the victim’s body.

Charging documents obtained by PEOPLE confirm Donald Lee Scott, 55, was arrested on Friday at his home in Glendale, Arizona, where he was living with his mother and ex-wife.

Scott was charged with the December 10, 1988, shooting death of Anne Levee, whom he is also accused of raping.

Levee was shot “multiple” times and medical examiners determined, “one of which was determined to have been immediately incapacitating,” the documents allege.

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A probable cause affidavit alleges the crack in the cold case came in 2014, when Scott was imprisoned following his conviction on an aggravated harassment charge.

While incarcerated, DNA samples were taken from Scott, according to the affidavit. But years before, in 2003, the cold case was reopened following breakthroughs in DNA science. Investigators were able to develop a male profile using semen recovered from Levee’s body.

About a year ago, the evidence returned a match for Scott. The affidavit alleges subsequent testing on the evidence was performed, and allegedly confirmed the DNA was Scott’s.

Scott, according to the charging documents, was the young man who allegedly happened upon Lee’s body while driving through the desert with a friend. They called 911, and officers were sent to the location, where Scott and his friend were briefly interviewed and photographed.

In January, detectives interviewed Scott again, and he allegedly denied knowing Levee or ever having any physical contact with her body.

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The friend who was with him at the time also spoke to police earlier this year, and said Scott only looked at Levee’s body up close, but did not touch the corpse.

Scott is being held on $1 million bond.

He has yet to enter a plea to the charges against him. It was not clear Thursday if he has a lawyer.

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