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DNA evidence helps several area crack cold cases

DNA evidence found at the scene has linked five suspects to crimes in cold cases who have pleaded guilty to charges of burglary, attempted burglary and possession of stolen property, according to Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.

Nickolas Heath, 25, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to burglary in the Aug. 20, 2015, break-in at a McKinley Parkway home where he stole cash, credit cards and  a tablet.

Baqi Muti, 62, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary for the Nov. 2, 2016, break-in that was also captured on surveillance video.

Brandon DeBlasi, 22, of Dunkirk, pleaded guilty to attempted burglary for the June 13, 2015, break-in at Kings Total Car Care on Broadway.

Victoria Henderson, 20, of the City of Tonawanda, pleaded guilty to criminal possession of stolen property and offering a false instrument for her role in the Kings Total Car Care burglary.

James Saxon Jr., 62, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty to burglary at various locations. DNA evidence linked him to the Sept. 3, 2010, burglary at Ruach Health Temple on Genesee Street; the Jan. 3, 2011, break-in at the MOCHA Center on May Street; the Oct. 12, 2015, burglary of Serenity Thru Counseling on Kensington Avenue; and the Dec. 11 break-in at Fireline 520, LLC on Walden Avenue.

“This office will continue to aggressively investigate cold cases to bring justice to the victims of these unsolved crimes,” Flynn said.

Flynn said he assigned an assistant district attorney to go through the cold cases, and to prosecute offenders when new evidence comes forward.

He called DNA "the most crucial evidence" in aiding the investigation of cold cases.

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