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DNA used to create profile of possible suspect in Lake Brownwood murder

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BROWNWOOD, Texas - In the first new development in months, the Brown County Sheriff's Office says a new technology has been used to create a computer-generated profile of a suspect in the murder of Chantay Blankinship.

Blankinship was found dead near her Lake Brownwood home on May 15, 2016.

According to a news release issued Wednesday, the sheriff's office reached out to Parabon Snapshot, a Virginia company that predicts physical appearances and ancestries based on a DNA sample. The sheriff's office submitted a DNA sample from the Blankinship murder, and a profile was developed.

--} POSSIBLE SUSPECT

Investigators thought they had enough evidence to make an arrest when DNA evidence was found, but initial testing didn't lead to a suspect being identified.

But KTXS has learned from Blankinship's mother that the 25-year-old was sexually assaulted.

"I can hear her say stop. I can hear it all in my head," Catherine McDaniel said on Wednesday. "I've been hearing it from day one."

McDaniel said she was told by law enforcement early in their investigation that's how they recovered the DNA evidence.

"She didn't deserve what this man did to her. By beating her down and sexually assaulting her. She had to go through a lot," McDaniel said.

"And we live with that everyday," Steven McDaniel, Chantay's father, said.

The Brown County Sheriff's Office has yet to publicly state Blankinship was raped. On Thursday they'll be holding a press conference at 10 a.m. at the Law Enforcement Center to answer any questions about the case.

"She was so innocent...that took a coward to do that," Steven said.

Catherine McDaniel said she appreciates the work the Brown County Sheriff's Office is putting into the case.

"They guaranteed us that this case will never get cold," she said. "That they're going to work on it until they know."

The sheriff's office said the profile created by Parabon Snapshot isn't perfect, but noted the following percentages of accuracy. Sheriff Vance Hill specified that the profile is not a photograph or actual image of the suspect.

This profile composite shows that the suspect will have fair/very fair skin color at a 79.6% confidence. Not Brown/Dark Brown at 99.3% confidence.

This profile composite shows the suspect will have Blue/Green eyes at a 91.8% confidence. Not Hazel/Brown/Black at 91.8% confidence.

This profile composite shows the suspect will have Brown/Blond hair at a 97.9% confidence. Not Black at 97.9% confidence.

This profile composite shows the suspect will have Few/Some Freckles at 33.3% confidence. Not Zero at 95.8% confidence.

The composite profile shows a white male with brown/light brown hair. The hair style on the composite profile is not an accurate depiction of the suspect. Hair style, length, and thickness can only be done if a witness observed and described the suspect. The composite profile does not depict any facial hair or scarring. Facial hair and scarring can only be done if a witness observed and described the suspect.

While the age of the suspect isn't known, the profile depicted the person at the age of 25.

If you have any information that can assist in the murder investigation, contact the Brown County Sheriff's Office at 325-646-5510 or CrimeStoppers at 325-646-1982.

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