A man from New Jersey has been apprehended following an investigation by Pennsylvania authorities, which allegedly ties him to a fatal shooting in 2012. Recent advancements in DNA forensics, along with evidence from a Styrofoam cup found at the crime scene and a cigarette butt discovered at his mother’s residence, reportedly contributed to the breakthrough.

The Berks County District Attorney’s Office disclosed the arrest of 39-year-old Vallis L. Slaughter, charging him with first-degree murder in connection to the killing of 34-year-old Julio Torres outside the West Reading Diner in March 2012.

During a press briefing on Monday, Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams revealed that the initial investigation into Torres’ demise led to the arrest and conviction of Jomain Case, who was 22 years old at the time.

According to the investigation, Torres, Case, and another individual engaged in a dispute prior to the fatal shooting. Case was apprehended and charged after investigators matched his DNA to a piece of Styrofoam cup found at the scene of the crime.

However, subsequent analysis on the Styrofoam piece did not yield any matches in the database. It was later discovered that Slaughter, then residing in New York City, was present in Reading, Pennsylvania on the night of the incident.

Following the exhaustion of leads and the absence of new developments, the case went cold for about 12 years. However, investigators reopened the case and stumbled upon a new piece of evidence—a cell phone picture showing Slaughter, taken by an acquaintance on the night of the shooting.

Utilizing facial recognition technology, authorities identified Slaughter as the suspected shooter responsible for Torres’ death. Last December, while residing in Jersey City, New Jersey with his mother, Slaughter came under scrutiny again when investigators obtained a discarded cigarette.

Through DNA analysis of the cigarette butt, investigators matched the DNA found on it with the DNA from the bitten portion of the Styrofoam cup discovered at the crime scene in 2012.

Slaughter was apprehended last Wednesday at his mother’s residence by the Jersey City Police Department and is currently being detained at the Hudson County Correctional Facility awaiting extradition to Berks County.

He now faces charges including first- and third-degree murder, criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, and possession of instruments of crime.