New DNA testing techniques have provided police with a potential profile for a suspect connected with the murder of 36-year-old Robert Mark Woodland in 2004, investigators have revealed.
A post-mortem examination found Robert Woodland had been the victim of a serious assault that had taken place some days earlier at that location.
Mr Woodland’s vehicle, a blue Commodore sedan registration number SA WYZ-736, was located nearby in the car park of Veale Gardens.
Police enquiries indicate that Robert Woodland left his home at Plympton Park in his vehicle about 9.00 p.m. on Saturday 4 December 2004. He did not return home or attend work and was reported missing on 6 December 2004.
Police believe that a member of the public saw Robert Woodland in the early hours of Sunday morning 5 December 2004. At that time, he was alone and did not appear to be in distress.
When Mr Woodland’s body was discovered, personal belongings including his keys, ANZ ATM card, RAA plastic sleeve and his jumper were missing.
Mr Woodland’s murder is one of several cases being examined by members of the SA Police Major Crime Investigation Branch as part of Operation Persist.
As a result it was featured on a Crime Stoppers TV segment – called SA’s Most Wanted – on Channel 9 on Monday night.
Detective Inspector Greg Hutchins from Major Crime said that due to advancements in DNA technology over recent years Forensic Science SA have now potentially identified a DNA profile for the suspect.
“At this point a name is all we need,” he said. “The noose is tightening and this will potentially provide significant lines of investigation for police.”
The breakthrough is expected to assist police who have also had five Crime Stoppers reports regarding this murder since 2014.
“We know that one single call can make all the difference in an investigation such as this and I would urge anyone with information in connection with Mr Woodland’s death to come forward to talk with police now,” Detective Inspector Hutchins said.
The investigation into the murder of Robert Woodland is being reviewed as part of Operation Persist – a long term strategy being undertaken in a bid to resolve some of the state’s outstanding murder and missing persons cases.
Strategies include working with media partners to highlight particular cases, detailed case reviews, the re-testing of forensic material, the release of playing cards highlighting cold case matters into SA prisons (pictured), and the provision of additional rewards by the State Government.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, report online or via the App – you can remain anonymous. A potential reward of $200,000 has bee posted.