Suspected Serial Killer Arrested For Multiple Unsolved Murder Cold Cases
DNA allegedly links former trucker Clark Perry Baldwin to women slain in Wyoming and Tennessee.
Authorities in Tennessee reinvestigating an unsolved cold case death almost three decades old now suspect a long-haul trucker is a serial killer responsible for slaying multiple women.
Clark Perry Baldwin, 58, was arrested at his apartment in Waterloo, Iowa, on May 6 and charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the 1991 deaths of a 32-year-old woman and her unborn baby, 22nd Judicial District Attorney Brent Cooper said in a news release obtained by CNN.
Pamela Rose Aldridge McCall was last seen getting into a dark-colored tractor-trailer while hitchhiking. The Virginia native, who was 24 weeks pregnant, was found strangled and dumped in woods near an Interstate 65 off-ramp in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
The case went cold until detectives sent DNA crime-scene evidence to a national database last year. The DNA came up as a match with genetic evidence collected during investigations into the unsolved killings of two still-unidentified women in Wyoming.
In March 1992, a female truck driver discovered the nude and strangled body of a woman off Interstate 80 in southwestern Wyoming, according to the Associated Press.
The following month, Wyoming Department of Transportation workers stumbled upon the partially mummified remains of a pregnant woman near I-90 in the northern part of the state.
“Those homicides were also similar in nature to the McCall homicide, with a truck driver possibly being the suspect," Cooper said, noting that "subsequent analysis has established that the DNA left at all three murder scenes was that of Clark Perry Baldwin.”
Police were able to zero in on Baldwin because one of his relatives had uploaded their DNA to a commercial genealogy site, People reported.
“Investigators went through all the partial matches, and through the process of elimination they ended up with this guy, and started looking into his background,” Cooper told the publication. “He was the correct age range and a former truck driver.”
Authorities recently tracked Baldwin, a father of one, to a Walmart in Iowa, where they collected his DNA by swabbing a shopping cart and other items he touched in the store. They also collected garbage Baldwin had discarded to confirm his DNA was a match to that found at the three murder crime scenes, Cooper said.
In addition to the McCall case, the suspected serial killer also faces charges for the two Wyoming murders.
"I think he preyed on young women that frequented truck stops," Cooper told People. "It appeared they would travel with him and then he would end up possibly raping them and then killing them."
He added it’s “a possibility” Baldwin may have committed more murders during his time working as a long-haul driver in the ’80s and ’90s.
Police are now looking into several unsolved cases with possible links to truckers, the AP reported.
Baldwin is being held without bond at the Black Hawk County jail in Iowa. He is expected to be extradited to Tennessee, followed by Wyoming.