A 23-year-old man is behind bars, accused of killing Jessica Funk-Haslam more than a year ago in a Rosemont park.
Investigators announced the arrest of Ryan Douglas Roberts Thursday. They say that Roberts’ name wasn’t even on their radar until DNA collected at the scene matched to his.
“We knew pretty early on we had a foreign DNA sample there and it was our obligation obviously, to figure out who it belonged to,” said Detective Tony Turnbull.
Roberts’ DNA was already in the system after a domestic violence arrest last May. He wasn’t charged in that incident.
“What we perhaps thought initially might be an easy case to bring the offender to justice, turned out to be exactly the opposite,” said Sheriff Scott Jones.
Funk-Haslam was found dead March 6, 2012 from a stab wound, blunt-force trauma and asphyxia. In the 16 months since Funk-Haslam’s death, investigators followed up on countless leads.
Roberts was arrested between 10 and 11 p.m. Wednesday night. Detectives say he was picked up near his place of work.
As of right now, Roberts is the only person suspected in the killing.
Roberts had two run-in’s with the law, according to records. In May, a domestic violence charge was brought against him, but it was never filed due to insufficient evidence. He also had a DUI in 2009.
Investigators will now go back and look at surveillance tape to see if Roberts was in any video.
“There are still things out there that we may want to know,” said Sgt. Jim Barnes.
Roberts didn’t live in one of the initial 200 home searched following Funk-Haslam’s death, but he does live close to the park where the girl was found.
Detectives cite a little bit of dumb luck in catching Roberts.
“You figure if somebody is going to do something like that to a 13-year-old girl, at some point in their life they are going to have more impulsive behavior that is going to get them in trouble and we’re going to get that evidence that we need,” Turnbull said.
Ian McDonald and Cecilio Padilla contributed to this report.