Reports: Occupy Wall Street link to Sarah Fox murder may be an error
Update 7:30 p.m. Unidentified police sources have now told both the Post and Daily News that the link between OWS and the Sarah Fox case may be an error.
The DNA may have been left by the same lab technician who handled both the CD player and the padlock left by OWS, according to reports.
Several law enforcement sources said the DNA is likely contaminated.
“It was a total screw up,” one told the Post.
“What are the chances that the killer came in contact with this chain and left his DNA on it all these years later?” another source told the Post.
Occupy Wall Street members are denying that the movement organized a March subway protest where DNA was collected that matches the 2004 murder scene of a Juilliard student.
On March 28, activists used chains to open the emergency gates at several subway stations, prompting free rides in protest of MTA fare hikes. A sample collected by police from a chain used at the Beverley Road subway station in Flatbush matches DNA gathered from the 8-year-old unsolved murder of 21-year-old Sarah Fox, according to the Daily News.
Fox’s nude body was found in 2004 after she disappeared near Inwood Hill Park during a run six days earlier. The DNA on the chain is a match to genetic material found on Fox’s portable CD player, police said.
The activists who placed the chains at Beverly Road station were masked. Occupy Wall Street denies that it had anything to do with organizing the subway protest, saying news of the March 28 action came as a surprise.
“After it happened, a lot of media gave credit to OWS, but we don’t actually know the people who organized it,” Occupy Wall Street press team member Linnea Paton told Metro this morning.
When asked about tweets that Occupy Wall Street accounts made in March spreading the word about the subway protest, Paton responded, “A lot of people were excited to see that type of protest happen, but it terms of organizing it, we did not. It didn’t come from one of our working groups.”
However, OccupyWallStreet.org posted a release on March 28 crediting OWS protesters and local union workers with the event:
This morning before rush hour, teams of activists, many from Occupy Wall Street, in conjunction with rank and file workers from the Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the Amalgamated Transit Union, opened up more than 20 stations across the city for free entry. As of 10:30 AM, the majority remain open. No property was damaged. Teams have chained open service gates and taped up turnstiles in a coordinated response to escalating service cuts, fare hikes, racist policing, assaults on transit workers’ working conditions and livelihoods — and the profiteering of the super-rich by way of a system they’ve rigged in their favor.
Transport Workers Union Local 100 spokesperson Jim Gannon said it’s possible union members were involved in the protest, but would have been disciplined if they were caught.
“If they were there, they did it on their own without any encouragement from the union,” Gannon told Metro. “I haven’t seen anything that shows any of our people were there.”
No arrests were made during the March 28 action and police are continuing the investigation to determine whether the DNA will lead to a real break in the case.
Daniela Bernal contributed reporting.