DNA evidence has linked the slaying of a college student to a serial killer who has murdered four other women in Louisiana, authorities said Tuesday.
Carrie Lynn Yoder, a 26-year-old graduate student at Louisiana State University, was found dead Thursday in a marsh not far from where another victim's body was discovered last summer.
Authorities had already linked the killer to the unsolved murders of Gina Wilson Green, Charlotte Murray Pace and Pam Kinamore, all of the Baton Rouge area, and Trineisha Dene Colomb of Lafayette.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Pat Englade said Tuesday that DNA evidence left on the victims connects all five slayings to one man.
Green, 41, was found strangled in her home Sept. 24, 2001. Pace, 22, was found stabbed to death in her home May 31. Kinamore, 44, was abducted from her home July 12; her throat was slit. Colomb, 23, was beaten to death and her body found in rural Lafayette Parish on Nov. 24.
Yoder, who disappeared from her home near campus March 3, died of asphyxiation, but police have refused to say if she was strangled, suffocated or drowned. A fisherman found her body in the Whiskey Bay area of the Atchafalaya River Basin. Kinamore's body was found in the same area.
On Tuesday, Gov. M. J. "Mike" Foster Jr. sought to reassure southern Louisiana residents that a strong effort was underway to find the killer. A task force has been investigating the killings and other unsolved deaths in the area for any connections or clues, and thousands of tips have poured into a task force hotline.
"Anything we're asked to do, we'll do," Foster said. "Money won't be an object. Personnel won't be an object."
The appearance by the governor and federal, state and local officials followed a rally two days earlier on the steps of the state Capitol, where family members and friends of the serial killer's victims expressed frustration at the seeming lack of progress in the investigation.
Lynne Marino, Kinamore's mother, said she already assumed Yoder's murder was linked to her daughter's killer.
"That doesn't surprise me. It's the same [pattern], and I felt like if it were a copycat, he wouldn't have that much nerve to dump the body at Whiskey Bay," Marino said. "This is a brazen guy, an in-your-face type of guy."
Baton Rouge Mayor Bobby Simpson said Tuesday that police still need help from area residents to catch the killer, who FBI profilers believe is a white male.