Lafayette woman coming face-to-face with mother’s murderer after DNA cracks a 51-year-old cold case

State News

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A murder in San Diego left detectives clueless for decades, but now a Lafayette woman is coming face-to-face with her mother’s murderer after 51 years.

“In April of this year I got a call from a detective with the San Diego Cold Case Homicide Division, and he said, ‘Donna, we found him,'” Donna Wyble said. “I cannot explain to you the feelings that I had when they said we got him.”

It’s a feeling Wyble says she’s waited a half-century for.

“I got a text message from the detective saying we have him. He’s in custody, and he’s arrested for the murder of your mother,” she went on.

23-year-old Mary Ellen Scott spent the final moments of life in her small San Diego apartment.

On November 20, 1969, police found her body inside. She had been raped and strangled.

“Now that I know the size of this man and as big is he is and the size of his hands, I know she feared like no other fear in her life,” Wyble continued.

Police followed every lead until the case went cold.

On the 50th anniversary of Mary Ellen’s death, a retired San Diego police officer took another look at the evidence.

The crack in the case was DNA submitted to an geneaology website.

It led detectives 3,000 miles across the country.

“They found him through the genealogy because they found his DNA through family members in the family tree, and that led them right to Pennsylvania,” Wyble told News 10.

It led them to 75-year-old John Sipos. He was arrested and charged with the murder of Wyble’s mother on October 24, 2020.

“That’s why I really, really believe DNA genealogy can help so many people. They need to push it if they’ve got a loved one or someone they’re trying to solve and get the murderer. They need to contact someone through DNA genealogy, ancestry.com, or what have you,” Wyble said. “It works. You have to just keep fighting and have hope, and it works.”

Sipos’ preliminary hearing is coming up in San Diego.

Now 56-years-old, Wyble says waited almost her entire life for this moment.

“I want to look at him in his eyes, and I want to ask him why. I want him to respond. I want him to tell me what was going through his head at the time and why did he do this to my mother. I want to know. There’s so much I want to know. I want to know everything, and I’m going to find out when I go to San Diego.”

Sipos is currently being held on a $3 million bond in Pennsylvania. Authorities are working to extradite him to San Diego.

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