DNA ties former boyfriend to 2009 slaying

mysanantonio.com
BYLINE: Eva Ruth Moravec - Express-News

Alamo Heights, TX

Dana Clair Edwards
No sign of break-in found at Edwards' apartment


The father of a woman strangled in an apartment near Alamo Heights in 2009 says he always suspected her ex-boyfriend played a role in her death, but it took DNA from a bloodied towel for San Antonio police to arrest him Saturday morning.

Jon Thomas Ford, 41, remains in Bexar County Jail on one count of murder in connection with the Jan. 1, 2009, death of Dana Clair Edwards, 32. Ford's bail is set at $100,000.

“It really doesn't bring closure. I think we're a long way from being through,” said Darrell Edwards, who with his wife discovered their youngest child brutally murdered in her apartment about 24 hours after she was killed.

“We were very aware when we found our daughter's body that our lives would change forever,” he said Sunday.

Edwards said he'd suspected Ford, who had dated Dana Clair Edwards for 21/2 years and was “absolutely” welcomed into the family, all along. He said Ford attended family dinners and parties, and even went on vacation with the Edwardses.

Ford secured a lawyer almost immediately after the slaying, the victim's father said, and never made contact with the family again.

Ford and his parents attended the memorial service for the woman he's charged with killing, said Edwards, who remembers shaking their hands in a receiving line.

But it wasn't until Dec. 9 that investigators got a report on DNA pulled off a bloody towel that covered the slain woman's head. Two days later, officials obtained a search warrant for Ford's DNA, which was found to match evidence on the towel, officials said.

“There were no signs of him being violent when they were dating,” Edwards said, adding that the couple broke up in October 2008. “It was certainly not our thought that Thomas Ford could have done this, but as the facts have come out, we believe it.”

The Edwards family also believes Ford killed their daughter's beloved Jack Russell terrier, Grit, which was found in Olmos Creek about a week after the slaying. Officials determined Grit died of blunt force trauma. A second dog, a rescued mutt named Toby, now lives with the Edwardses.

Edwards said he plans to attend the trial and will testify if called upon.

“When you lose your daughter, your fishing buddy, your best friend, you don't like the loss,” he said. “You know that nothing's ever going to replace (her) or make you feel better about it.”

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