Key Prosecution Evidence Presented at Cisneros Trial

Created: 06/30/2014 7:12 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s a 20 year old murder case that’s based largely on DNA evidence.

And as the Michael Cisneros murder trial entered its second week, prosecutors introduced what could be the key piece of evidence in the entire trial.

On July 20th, 1994, 20-month-old John Snyder, Junior disappeared from his apartment building in Mason City. His pajama bottoms and diaper were found in a wooded area nearby.

"Were you able to determine if there was human blood on the pajama bottoms?" prosecutors asked former Iowa DCI investigator Doug Elrick during testimony on Monday morning.

"Yes, there were several stains, and human blood was found on three stains" Elrick told a jury of 5 women and 9 men.

The next day, the toddler's body was found in Willow Creek. An autopsy showed the had drowned, and his skull had been crushed.

Former DCI investigator Doug Elrick told jurors his lab analyzed the blood stains found on the pajama bottoms.

"It would indicate they were two different individuals," Elrick testified.

18 years later, in 2012, a DNA sample taken from Michael Cisneros allegedly matched a sample taken from the toddler's pajama bottoms.

But in its opening statements, defense attorneys said Cisneros had cut his hand on the evening the toddler disappeared and, while walking near Willow Creek, had wiped his hand on something he'd found on the ground. That something, they claim, was the pajama bottoms. Cisneros has pleaded not guilty to a charge of first degree murder.

The Michael Cisneros murder trial continues Tuesday at the Cerro Gordo County Law Enforcement Complex.