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Lead Investigator Testifies in Altus Murder Case

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ALTUS Okla_ Altus Detective Bill Perkins testified Thursday that blood and evidence of a struggle was found in the home of Manuel Daniel, Jr. during a search following the murder of Melissa Bost. 

Perkins took the stand on the second day of Daniel's murder trial in Altus. Investigators say Daniel killed Bost in February of 2012 after she brought him crack cocaine to his house.

He was the lead investigator on the case, and Thursday he testified that in the home of the defendant there was evidence of bodily fluids, as well as evidence that carpet had been removed from the house.  Under the carpet though, on the flooring, was still evidence of blood. Perkins told the jury a call came in to the Altus Crimestoppers tip line about a month after Bost's murder. The woman said she noticed her neighbor, Daniel, acting very suspicious the night Bost was murdered. She told police she noticed him walking out of his house very late that night, carrying a box. He bypassed the dumpster behind his house and walked down the alley towards her dumpster. Before making it there, a truck was pulling down the street and she said Daniel tried to hide. She said after the truck passed, he threw the box in her dumpster.

A search warrant for the defendant's home was obtained about a month after Bost was murdered, and the woman made the call after seeing crime scene tape put up at Daniel's home. Perkins said inside Daniel's home it was evident that he had removed the carpet from the middle room of his house. When Daniel was asked why he tore out the carpet, he said it was because of his animals urinating on it. When investigators sprayed Luminal, the liquid used to detect trace amounts of blood, on Daniel's floor in the front rooms, it was evident there was heavy staining from blood. The same went for several other rooms in the house, including the flooring where the carpet had been removed.

When Daniel was asked about the blood several days later, he said, "The blood shouldn't have been there" but he never denied it being there. A vacuum also tested positive for blood. When the canister was removed, fingernails were found inside, and they were a match for the victim. Perkins also testified Thursday that while they believe Daniel was the only killer, they also believe more than one person moved the body.

A forensic pathologist from the state medical examiner's office also took the stand Thursday, recounting what she found while examining the body. She said the cause of death was sharp force trauma to the head and neck.

 

 

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