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BRPD: DNA analysis cracks 1984 cold case

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Posted: Dec 3, 2012 3:17 PM by Russell Jones
Updated: Dec 3, 2012 3:17 PM
Source: Baton Rouge Police Department

  Rating: 5.0 (1 vote)

Topics: baton rouge, police, cold, case, murder, 1984, kergan, arrest, mulla, dunnagan, trial, crime, DNA, blood, test

BATON ROUGE - Police in Baton Rouge announced two arrests in connection with a 1984 murder, after they said a cold case review and DNA analysis led them to the suspects.

Police arrested Ronald Dunnagan, 64, of Bossier City and Leila Mulla, 57, of Astoria, N.Y. in connection with the killing nearly 30 years ago.

Lt. Don Kelly said the two plotted to rob Gary Kergan, a Baton Rouge businessman. He was last seen alive at Mulla's Baton Rouge home on Nov. 29, 1984. His car was later found abandoned in Metairie with a significant amount of blood in the trunk, but his body has never been found and he was declared legally dead two years later.

In Dec. 1984 police arrested Dunnagan and Mulla and charged them with Kergan's death, but the district attorney chose not to prosecute the case because of a lack of evidence.

At the time, the blood in the trunk couldn't be matched to Kergan, but the state crime lab confirmed it was his during a recent BRPD cold case review. Investigators traveled to Bossier City and Astoria to question the two suspects again, and re-arrested them.

Police accused Dunnagan of first-degree murder, and Mulla of second-degree murder. Detectives also accused them of criminal conspiracy and simple robbery.

Lt. Kelly said the arrests were made with the assistance of the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office, the New York Police Department and the Queens, NY District Attorney's Office.

News 2 will have more on these developments and investigation tonight.

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