Linda Tregerthan
Linda Tregerthan

DNA links accused killer to murder

ACCUSED killer Vita Tantra has a one-in-1.7 billion DNA match to a blood stain on a pink pillow case found near murdered Byron Bay woman Linda Tregerthan, a court has heard.

In the judge-alone trialbefore Supreme Court Justice Robert Allan Hulme, Tanta, an East German-raised 52-year-old, remained impassive while seated in the dock, his chin resting on a hand as the Crown put forward specialist forensic evidence.

Noting the forensic report, Justice Hulme said fingernail clippings had been taken from each hand of the murdered woman and the DNA of two people was found.

Justice Hulme said the profile from one clipping matched the DNA of the accused as a one-in-100 million match; and from another nail clipping there had been a DNA match with Tantra that was listed as one-in-86,000.

A forensic expert, whoreviewed the work done by another DNA expert on evidence collected from the scene of the crime, that shook Byron Bay in August 2004, said she was in total agreement with the findings.

The expert said the blood stain found on the pillow case revealed female and male DNA at a ratio of two-to-one, with the DNA recovered ‘significantly high’ and with most of the material a match to Ms Tregerthan.

“The DNA profiles are consistent to being theirs,” she said. “How often we would expect to find that profile (male DNA linked to Tantra) in the particular population is one-in-1.7 billion people.”

The expert told the court the blood stain on the pillow case had a ‘smeared’ appearance, showing there had been some contact, rather than being a splash staining.

Previous evidence revealed Ms Tregerthan, 43, died violently and received dozens of stab wounds. Her body was found in a sunroom of her Shirley Lane house by her teenage daughter about 1pm on August 30, 2004.



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