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DNA testing results in arrest of suspect wanted in 1992 homicide investigation.
Sheriff David Gee and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Jim Madden announce the arrest of the suspect responsible for a 1992 homicide.
Rocky G. Juarez
Incarcerated (FDOC) - Desoto Annex
Murder in the First Degree
Attempted Sexual Battery
On July 11, 1992, the body of Rachel Guiles was located in a group of trees on the east side of north 15th Street approximately one tenth of a mile north of 131 Avenue. The body was discovered by a person out walking their dog. The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Ms. Guiles was the victim of a homicide and that her cause of death had been strangulation. Ms. Guiles was 32 years old and had been living in an apartment less than a mile from the crime scene.
In October 2008, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was awarded the National Institute of Justice grant “Solving Cold Cases With DNA”. In conjunction with the grant, a partnership was formed between the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office whereby 2 investigators would be assigned full-time to re-investigate cold case homicides.
In December of 2009, Detective Chris Fox and Special Agent Sandy Noblitt reopened the homicide of Ms. Rachel Guiles. Although previous analysis had been completed on items of evidence, both investigators knew that the advances in the DNA sciences had been made, therefore they elected to resubmit the evidence for additional laboratory examination. As a result of this new analysis, a suspect’s DNA profile was developed and uploaded into CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), the FBI’s DNA database. When the suspect’s profile was entered, it hit on the Offender Profile of Rocky G. Juarez, a 43-year-old male. Juarez, who has been in Florida State Prison since 2002, is serving a 35-year sentence for the murder of Tina Marie Pitts in Tampa in 2000. After receiving notification of the DNA match in Rachel Guiles’ homicide, an additional investigation was conducted, which now has resulted in the filing of charges of Murder in the First degree and Attempted Sexual Battery against Juarez.
Juarez will be brought back to Hillsborough County to be booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on the new charges.