DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Dallas Police have made an arrest in the murder case of 18-year-old Zoe Hastings.READ MORE: 'My Nerves Are Still Rattled': Passenger Aboard Amtrak Train Talks Crash
Antonio Lamar Cochran, 34, has been arrested on a charge of capital murder, Maj. Max Geron of the Dallas Police Department said during a press conference on Saturday. DNA evidence collected at the crime scene led to the arrest Saturday morning.
“I want to extend our sincere appreciation and thanks to the Hastings family for their patience and support in what I can only imagine is the most difficult event they’ve ever been through,” Geron said.
Results of the DNA testing matched Cochran, who was already in the database, Geron said. Cochran also matched descriptions given by witnesses who saw Hastings’ abduction from a Walgreens.
Geron said Cochran did not know Hastings prior to the abduction, and police do not know a motive.
“He is obviously a sexual predator that’s been taken off the streets,” Geron said.
The results came in late Friday night, Geron said. Once given to detectives assigned to the case, it took less than eight hours to find and arrest Cochran in an apartment in northeast Dallas Saturday morning.READ MORE: Man, Pregnant Woman & Baby Killed In Crash Along Highway 360; Police Investigating
“This truly was a community policing success,” Geron said, “given the involvement and the cooperation of citizens and police.”
Geron called the outpour of community support for police and the Hastings family during the investigation “refreshing.”
“This family, as you can imagine, is grieving,” Shonn Brown, a spokeswoman for the Hastings family, said, “but is also happy about the way this community came together because it is representative of the way that Zoe lived her life — a life that she lived for others, recognizing a power that was greater than herself.”
Records indicate Cochran is in Dallas County Jail on $2.5 million bond.
Here is the Hastings family’s statement in full:
“The family of Zoe Hastings is so grateful for the Dallas Police Department’s swift action in making this arrest. We feel one step closer to bringing closure to our family regarding this senseless tragedy. We also want to thank each and every person in the community who has supported us and the DPD in their efforts.
The manner in which the entire community has banded together for the goal of honoring Zoe’s life and seeking to find the truth and justice is representative of how Zoe lived her life loving others and recognizing a power greater than herself.
Please continue to keep the Hastings family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Watch the entire press conference, courtesy of DPD, below:
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