GLENDALE (CBSLA.com) – A regional crime lab was able to help investigators identify two suspects in connection with a series of robberies last month that ended with two senseless murders in the Los Angeles area, all thanks to a white hat.
On Jan. 18, an armed robber hit the America Market in Glendale. He ran away, but left behind a white hat. Detectives came to a realization as they watched the surveillance video.
“They (detectives) realized the suspect had the same description as the suspect that was involved in multiple robberies in the city of L.A.,” said Lt. Bob Zahreddine with the Glendale Police Department.
In one of the cases, the suspect shot and killed a clerk at a Chevron gas station, even though the clerk had complied with the suspect’s demands. Glendale and Los Angeles police began working together as they realized they had a dangerous suspect on their hands.
“We believed that unless this man is arrested, and we put a stop to him, that this might continue to put more people’s lives in jeopardy,” Zahreddine said.
Glendale investigators submitted their suspect’s hat to the Verdugo Regional Crime Lab, which is located inside their station, to see if they could get a DNA hit. Within 24 hours, the lab identified their suspect as 25 year-old Kayshon Moody. He was arrested that same day. Soon, investigators tied him to another robbery and murder at a Mar Vista marijuana dispensary where the owner was shot and killed.
“The victims were shot for no apparent reason,” Zahreddine said. “We had a monster out there, killing people for no apparent reason.”
Moody’s DNA was in the lab’s database because he was arrested in 2014 for a felony which required him to submit his DNA.
Detectives processed the shell casings found at the Chevron gas station and determined they were fired by the same gun used at the marijuana dispensary.
Through this investigation, police also identified and arrested a second suspect in connection with the two murders. They say he has confessed to his involvement in both cases.
“To be able to do this and do it this quickly is really satisfying and gratifying,” Zahreddine said.
Investigators say the Verdugo Regional Crime Lab, which serves over 20 law enforcement agencies in the area, helped put an end to a violent and deadly crime spree.