UPDATE: The New York Times is now walking back the story, saying the match may be the result of a lab worker tainting the results with his own DNA. Read more here.
Police got an odd clue in an unsolved 2004 murder after DNA pulled from the evidence at an Occupy Wall Street protest in March matched DNA from the older, unrelated crime scene. NBC New York reports that police collected the DNA evidence from a chain that Occupy protesters had used to prop open an subway station emergency exit door in order to allow riders to enter for free. While they were unable to match the DNA to a specific subject, the evidence did match DNA on file from the earlier 2004 investigation. That DNA was found on a CD player belonging to Sarah Fox, a 21-year-old student who was murdered in Manhattan's Inwood Park.
It's too soon to know if this new evidence will actually lead to a break in the case, but the possibility of solving a nearly decade-old cold case is certainly intriguing. No suspects have been arrested in either case. The chain could have come from anywhere and been handled by dozens of people in the past eight years, but the chance of tracing it back to the murderer certainly exists. Even if the two crimes are totally unrelated, this newest development could actually help solve both cases if the Occupy protesters involved came forward to explain the origin of the chain.