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DNA Link Between ‘Occupy’ Protest and Student’s Slaying in Doubt

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A DNA match between material on a slain jogger's CD player in 2004 and on a chain used by Occupy Wall Street to hold open a subway entrance last year now appears very likely the result of the same person having handled both pieces of evidence, not a link between the two events, law enforcement officials told ABC News.

It appeared both DNA samples may have been tainted at a police lab before they were tested by the medical examiner's office, sources told ABC News' New York affiliate, WABC-TV.  The material found on both the CD player and the chain may have come from a member of the NYPD who handled both items, sources said.

The initial disclosure that there was a DNA match suggested the possibility that a protester may have been linked to the sex assault.  That no longer appears to be the case.

The jogger, Sarah Fox, 21, was a student in the drama department of the renowned Julliard School.  She had taken a temporary leave from the school when she disappeared on May 19, 2004, after going out for a run in New York's Inwood Hill Park.

Her body was found naked six days later, surrounded by tulip petals.  She had been strangled.  Fox's CD player was later found in the area during a search for evidence.  No arrest was ever made.

Initial reports said DNA from the CD player was apparently linked to DNA from a chain used during Occupy Wall Street protests on March 28, 2012.

Protesters wearing masks, hoods and gloves chained open the emergency gates to at least three subway stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to Crime Stoppers.  The suspects posted signs that said, "Customers ride for free."  They also taped over the Metrocard readers so that they could not be used.

The DNA was found on the chain used at the Beverly Road subway station in East Flatbush.  Nobody was arrested for the subway protests.  The NYPD had released surveillance video of the suspects chaining the gates.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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