In a statement published by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, it was revealed that detectives utilized DNA samples found on a discarded cigarette to finally catch a suspected serial killer who committed crimes in Central Florida. The man in question is Robert Tyrone Hayes, who made a court appearance on Monday to face first-degree murder charges. The judge denied the 37-year-old bond.
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw addressed the media at a press conference held on Monday morning. He said that he was pleased to put Hayes behind bars because if they didn’t do so, he would continue in his ways and there would be another victim on his record.
Detectives said that Hayes was responsible for the murder of Rachel Elizabeth Bey, 32 years old. Namely, in 2016, workers on the Beeline Highway found Bey’s body. PBC State Attorney Dave Aronberg said that this regarded Rachel Bey entirely, adding that she was the reason why they gathered. Aronberg was adamant they would do her justice.
According to the police report, they analyzed a DNA swab found by an examination kit during Bey’s autopsy. The police said the tests they carried out gave them a DNA profile of the assailant. They compared the DNA with an unidentified culprit of a homicide that took place in Daytona Beach, some time in late 2005, or early 2006.
During the time frames of those two murders, Hayes’ whereabouts put him in the vicinity of both crimes, which made the police identify him as a potential suspect. Police officers took Hayes into custody on September 13th, 2019. According to his arrest report, PBCSO’s Fugitive Task Force examined Hayes smoke and discard a cigarette while he was waiting for a bus to arrive. They took the cigarette back to the lab, where they analyzed DNA.
PBSO stated that Hayes’ DNA found on the cigarette was the same as the DNA they found both on Bey and during the investigation of the Daytona Beach murder. The police in Daytona Beach connected Hayes at least three murders — one occurred in 2005, while the other two took place in 2006.
Bradshaw said that officers would be restless until they manage to find each and every last one of the “monsters” who committed such crimes. Bradshaw added that they caught Hayes with the help of DBPD and several other departments, including State Attorney’s offices from Palm Beach, as well as the Seventh Judicial Circuit.