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New technology aided in arrest

As rape suspect Brad Wagner of Glenwood Springs was advised of his rights at the Boulder County Jail on Monday, new details emerged about the events leading to his arrest.Advances in DNA and computer technology ultimately provided the key to unlocking the identity of the suspect, said Boulder Police Commander Kurt Weiler. Forensic samples taken from the sexual assault kits of the victims between 1993 and 1998 were resubmitted in 1999 and 2000, once new DNA technology developed. Through a public records search aided by new computer technology, Boulder investigators linked Wagner to being in Boulder, Lakewood and Austin, Texas, during the time of the assaults, Weiler said.”With today’s technology, we were able to develop a DNA profile from a handshake, where before we would need a significant amount of blood to do that,” Weiler said.The first step of the police department’s investigation of Wagner was to obtain a DNA sample “to see if he would garner additional scrutiny,” he said. The Boulder investigator who met with Wagner on May 20 attempted to obtain four DNA samples from an apartment door, a vehicle door, through a handshake and from a bicycle that Wagner rode to the meeting with the officer. Only the handshake and the bicycle attempts provided adequate DNA. The undercover detective’s hand was swabbed after the handshake with Wagner to obtain the DNA. “Based on our investigation and the DNA that we got unknowing from him, we were able to convince a judge that probable cause existed,” Weiler said. The judge provided the police department with an arrest warrant and two search warrants, one for Wagner’s house and another for his person. Using the search warrant for his person, police collected hair, blood and saliva samples and sent them to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for further testing, Weiler said.An undercover investigator was necessary, Weiler said, because “if were going to ask him and try to get samples from him knowingly, there was a concern that he might leave.”Wagner worked from his home in the 1300 block of Grand Avenue as a real estate agent for ReMax Mountain West. Members of the community expressed surprise and shock at his arrest.”I was shocked that he was a Realtor and lived in Glenwood. I’m glad they caught him. I feel safe here,” said Louise Richardson, a three-year resident. She also added she feels that the DNA evidence seems solid in the case.Stan Trulock, a motorcycle mechanic for Gorilla Motor Works, part of Jimmy’s 66 Service, said his wife had wondered where he lived when she heard of Wagner’s arrest.”She called directory assistance to find out if he lived in our neighborhood,” he said. “If he’s guilty, I hope they lock him up for the rest of his life.” Another resident said she hopes Wagner gets a fair trial. “But if he did everything they said he did, then put him in jail,” said resident Vanna Vigil, who has lived in Glenwood Springs all her life. “You don’t expect people like that to be in a little tiny town. We seem to be pretty safe. But what appears isn’t always true.” Contact Christine Dell’Amore: 945-8515, ext. 535cdellamore@postindependent.comWhat’s nextBrad Wagner’s public defender appeared on his behalf Monday at the Boulder County Jail when Wagner was advised of his rights. Another court date was set for 2 p.m. Friday at the Boulder County Jail, when Wagner will be formally charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault.Brad Wagner’s public defender appeared on his behalf Monday at the Boulder County Jail when Wagner was advised of his rights. Another court date was set for 2 p.m. Friday at the Boulder County Jail, when Wagner will be formally charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault.


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