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Forensic scientist says DNA of murder accused found on victim

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WARNING: This article contains graphic content.

A forensic analyst told the court in the Tyler Hikoalok murder trial that DNA from the body of victim Elizabeth Salm was linked to the defendant.

Salm, who was 59 at the time of her death, was found beaten in the Christian Science Reading Room where she worked on Laurier Avenue West on May 24, 2018.

Hikoalok, who was 18 at the time, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Salum’s death.

Elizabeth Salm was beaten while working as a librarian in 2018. Tyler Hikoalok is on trial for murder related to her death. (submitted by family)

Melinda Matt, a scientist at the Center for Forensic Science in Toronto, oversaw DNA testing throughout the investigation into Salm’s death.

She said in court that she had found semen in a sample from an external genital swab collected as part of a sexual assault evidence kit conducted against Tahm. There was material, Matte said, which police later linked to Hikoalok.

Matt tested other samples sent to her by investigators. This includes swabs from Salum’s autopsy and clothing seized from Hikoalok during his arrest.

She finds another match for a mixture of Salum and Hikoalok DNA from an external lip swab, a blood stain on Hikoalok’s left shoe, and Hikoalok’s bracelet obtained at Salum’s autopsy.

She also confirmed that the blood stains in the Christian Science Reading Room belonged to Salum.

Her cross-examination by the defense is scheduled to begin Thursday.

Tyler Hikoalok in a surveillance photo taken by Ottawa police before his arrest in May 2018.
Tyler Hikoalok is pictured in surveillance photos taken by Ottawa police before his arrest in May 2018. (Exhibition/Ontario Superior Court)

The court also held a hearing this week from the acting sergeant.Detective Violetta Dimova of the Ottawa Police Department’s Forensic Identification Unit analyzes the bloodstain pattern at the scene.

According to Dimova, the splattered stains found in the back room of the Christian Science Reading Room were “saturated stains” on the carpet by the bookshelf when Elizabeth Salm’s liquid blood was subjected to an “external force.” It is said that it is derived from the area of ​​​​the blood pool. .

She also said the strike appeared to have occurred low on the ground (less than 66 centimeters) due to splattered stains on the underside of the desk.

Dimova said the number of blows could not be determined because the “blood supply” was stationary during the collision.

The court had previously received a forensic pathology report on Salm’s death, concluding that she died from complications of severe blunt force head trauma.

According to Dimova, Salm’s blood was found near the handle of the door that connected the study to the small hallway, and on the wall near the glass door that connected the hallway to the main lobby of the Gillin Building.

During cross-examination, Dimova said her analysis could not contribute to establishing a timeline or sequence of events.

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