NAPLES — New forensics tests in the 2009 Damas family slaying appear to strengthen the link between the crime scene and a knife purchased by the suspect.
The knife, one of several items tested for blood and DNA in October 2009, showed strong matches to all six victims. It appears to be the same knife that suspect Mesac Damas bought on the night of the killing, a Berkley fillet knife with a 6-inch blade and black handle. Surveillance video from a Naples Walmart recorded the purchase, on Sept. 17, 2009.
Two days later, Collier deputies discovered the bodies of Guerline Damas, 32, and her five children—Morgan, 19 months; Megan, 3; Marven, 5; Maven, 6; and Zack, 9—in their North Naples home. Mesac Damas, 33, the father, was later arrested and charged with the killings.
The victims were found with slashed throats and stab wounds.
The test results, returned to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office on June 2 by state crime lab analysts, were released as part of public discovery in the case.
Nine different blood spots on the knife returned DNA profiles that strongly matched or suggested each of the victims. Traces of Mesac Damas were fainter—his profile was excluded from six of the samples, included as a possible profile in a DNA mixture from one sample (the six victims were also included as likely contributors), and unmentioned in another sample. The other sample showed no distinguishable profiles.
The father’s DNA profile registered a strong match with another sample, scrapings taken from his son Zack’s fingernails, and it was a possible contributor to a sample taken from a black shirt found on the scene.
It’s unknown what bearing the test results will have on the case. Because Mesac Damas was in close contact with the victims before the killings, the presence of his DNA profile may say little about his alleged role.
Damas also reportedly confessed to authorities several times. He confessed his guilt to a Daily News reporter days after the slayings.
Other documents in the release include aerial photographs of the home, copies of what appear to be latent fingerprints and photographs of a pile of trash in a pile of brush.
Among the items in the pile are photos of a young Mesac Damas in a server’s uniform, and a sheet of paper with the name “Marven” scrawled in a child’s handwriting, above a few misspellings.
Marven Damas, a kindergartener, had just learned to write his name before he was killed, teachers recalled in a recent ceremony for the three boys.
Mesac Damas is charged with six counts of first-degree murder. If convicted, he faces the death penalty.
DAMAS FAMILY KILLINGS COVERAGE
ONE YEAR LATER:
- Year after slayings of Guerline Damas, five kids, relatives ask ‘did it really, really happen?’
- Confessed killer Mesac Damas wants to die, so should court system let him?
- Damas family slayings: Year later, still haunting lives of friends, family, deputies
- Jail phone call: Accused killer Mesac Damas talks to father about his slain family, Satan and adultery
MESAC DAMAS CONFESSION VIDEO:
DAILY NEWS STAFF JOURNALISTS TALK ABOUT THE CASE:
- THE FIELD: Naples Daily News staff writer describes how he obtained an interview with Mesac Damas
- THE FIELD: Visual Journalist Greg Kahn discusses being the first journalist at the Damas crime scene, and other observations from the field.
- THE FIELD: Staff Writer Steven Beardsley answers questions about his interview with Mesac Damas