Suspected serial killer charged after link to DNA evidence

Suspected serial killer charged after link to DNA evidence

PBSO

Victoria Loredan, Staff Writer

On September 15, 2019, Robert Tyrone Hayes was arrested and denied bail for the March 2016 murder of Rachel Bey.

The body was found along the Beeline Highway in Jupiter.

Hayes was finally arrested when the police found a cigarette butt from Hayes and passed his DNA through CODIS (Combined DNA Index System). During the autopsy, they found DNA on the victim which they also passed through the system. Both samples matched.

This cigarette butt was crucial to the investigation and others. It connected three other murder cold cases to Hayes.

The earliest murder was after Christmas 2005. Laquetta Gunther, 45, was found in a gap between an auto parts store and utility building. On January 14, 2006, Julie Green, 34, was found on a dirt road in a construction site. Lastly, on Feb 24, 2006, Iwana Patton, 35, was also found on a dirt road.

All victims had some sort of police record. Gunther had a police record for prostitution, Green had one for drug possession, and Patton had several arrests for battery.

The victims were believed to be shot in the head with a .40 caliber handgun. All the women were found face down, naked, with their clothes underneath or near them.

“Had we not done this,” said Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, about matching the DNA and the resultant arrest, “we’re pretty sure he would’ve killed again.”