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DNA used to link convict to 2001 murder

Updated: November 19, 2012 3:15PM

A felon currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for a drug conviction has been charged in a 2001 murder after authorities said they were able to link his DNA to a deadly West Side home invasion.

After Adalberto Santiago was sentenced in federal court for his cocaine case in 2009, his DNA profile was entered into a national registry, prompting the process that eventually connected him to the murder of 41-year-old Ramon Torres, Cook County prosecutors said.

When he was interviewed by police at the Oxford Correctional Facility in Wisconsin, Santiago, 46, denied he knew Torres or was in Torres’ home in the 2500 block of North Drake on Feb. 3, 2001.

But Santiago’s DNA matched the blood that was found with Torres’ on a knife that was discovered in the bathroom assistant state’s attorney Patrick Morley said.

Santiago and his co-offender barged into Torres’ home — breaking the front door off the hinges — as Torres, who worked as a contractor, watched television with a friend, Morley said.

Torres’ friend, who later identified Santiago, fled out the back, but Torres was immediately shot by one of the men, Morley said.

Santiago took Torres into a bathroom while his cohort ransacked the residence and left the room in disarray, Morley said.

Then, Santiago allegedly stabbed Torres and accidentally cut himself before dropping the knife in the tub. He also shot Torres several times with a semiautomatic handgun and left the weapon in the tub, Morley said.

Four spent casings were found near Torres’ body. He died from multiple gunshot wounds, officials with the Cook County medical examiner’s office said at the time.

Santiago, a divorced father of five, appeared at the Leighton Criminal Court building Wednesday. Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. ordered him held without bail.

In addition to his current drug case, Santiago has two unlawful use of a weapon convictions and a pair of aggravated battery convictions.

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