Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Police Seek DNA Samples in Comstock Case

The Springfield News-Leader (MO) reports today that Greene County deputies sought DNA samples from Rolland Comstock's ex-wife and estranged son while investigating the suspected homicide" of the well-known lawyer and book collector. "Search warrant return documents show deputies collected saliva samples last month from both Alberta M. Comstock and Michael R. Comstock. The samples were sought after items found in Rolland Comstock's home -- including a cigarette butt and personal papers -- indicated the two may have been there at times they told detectives they weren't, the documents suggest."

Other court documents suggest that Alberta Comstock purchased a .38-caliber revolver the day before her ex-husband was killed. "Among items found at the scene of Rolland Comstock's death were spent .38 rounds, though no empty shell casings were located, '... which would indicate either the assailant picked up the spent (casings) or the weapon in question was a revolver.'" Also new from these documents is news that "a gunshot residue test taken after Rolland Comstock's death showed Alberta Comstock had 'a partial positive hit,'" and an attache case containing documents belonging to Alberta Comstock.

Michael Comstock, Alberta's biological son who was adopted by Rolland Comstock but "disowned approx. 10 years ago" (as he told police) reportedly said that "if his DNA was located at the crime scene, he had been set up!" Police say that DNA from a cigarette butt recovered at the scene of Comstock's death was a preliminary match to Michael Comstock, and that they are awaiting confirmation of that match. An affidavit filed in the case reports that Michael Comstock asked an acquaintance to "wash all his clothes" soon after his father's body had been discovered.

Comstock was found dead in his home last 3 July; "he'd been shot three times in the head and once in the abdomen, according to court documents."

Detectives told the News-Leader on Monday that charges would be filed soon, and that they are "now waiting on the Missouri Highway Patrol Crime Lab in Jefferson City to return DNA profiles of the mother and son. They will compare the profiles with other evidence found at the scene."