Police have credited an advanced DNA technique with catching two killers who murdered a homeless man in a brutal attack in south London.
The body of Mauricio ‘Maurice’ Nascimento, aged 44, was found at Rush Common in Brixton Hill on July 12, 2021 following a horrific attack that included a fractured skull and neck, broken nose and broken ribs.
On Friday, Arturas Pitikinas and Ernestas Alexandrovas, both of 29 and Norwood High Street, were convicted at Kingston Crown Court of Mr Nascimento’s murder. Alexandrovs was also convicted of perverting the course of justice.
The court heard how there were no immediate leads to the fatal attack.
But forensic testing on a belt found at the scene and Maurice’s unbuttoned shirt revealed a complete DNA match to Pitikanas.
The chances of it coming from someone else were pegged at one in a billion – the highest tally on the scientific scale.
Patikinas’s DNA was also found on Maurice’s wrist, indicating that he had been involved in dragging her body into the bushes.
The tests also showed the presence of DNA on other parts of Maurice’s body, including his face and his neck, where he had been killed by his assailants.
However, the standard DNA test was not sensitive enough to compare whose DNA was whose.
This was followed by an advanced test – the disclosure of the Alexandrovs’ DNA.
Forensic testing of the fingers and palm of Nascimento’s right hand matched DNA to Mr. Alexandrovas. The police said that the chances of him not being there have also been pegged at one in a billion.
CCTV footage also tracked the couple leaving their home and walking towards Rush Common, where the murder is believed to have taken place.
Alexandrovs’ mobile phone, also used at 3.16am on the night of the murder, was found connected to a telephone mast next to Rush Common.
Met Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley, who led the case, said: “This case demonstrated how the Met combined forensic expertise with the investigative skills of our homicide detectives to solve murders.
“We will never know exactly what happened in the moments before Maurice Nascimento died, but we do know that the attack on him was brutal, merciless and completely unjustified.
“I am pleased that the two defendants have now been found guilty and will be off the streets of London for a long time.”
(tag to translate) Murder