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DNA match solves case of Contra Costa County waitress killed in 1996 | Unsolved California

David Lewis, the brother of Priscilla Lewis, is grateful that the man who killed his sister been finally caught decades later.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. — A DNA match has helped detectives solve the killing of a San Francisco Bay Area waitress whose body was found in a basement bathroom 25 years ago. 

The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office identified Danny Lamont Hamilton as the man who killed Priscilla Lewis. Prosecutors allege he drowned Priscilla  Lewis in 1996 in an attempted rape and burglary at a restaurant in the city of Crockett.  

Credit: AP
This March 25, 2019 photo provided by Contra Costa Sheriff's Office shows Danny Lamont Hamilton, currently an inmate the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. A DNA match has helped detectives solve the killing of a San Francisco Bay Area waitress whose body was found in a basement bathroom 25 years ago. Authorities in Contra Costa County said Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, that the prison inmate has been charged with murder in the killing of Priscilla Lewis. (Contra Costa Sheriff's Office via AP)

David Lewis, the brother of Priscilla Lewis, is grateful that the man who killed his sister been finally caught decades later.

"This has definitely healed some fractures in the family," David Lewis said. " I'm sure this is going to open a lot of wounds. Not they've healed but they are scabbed over."

While he is relieved that he now has answers, he is still disturbed by the recent updates to his sister's case. 

"If you asked me two years ago, do I think they'll ever find her killer, I probably have said no," David Lewis said. "With DNA as it is today, being able to trace people but I do have hope that not just my sister's base but many others are going to be opened up and solved."   

The case was unsolved for two decades after investigators interviewed dozens of people, analyzed evidence and executed several search warrants. 

Sheriff's investigators say they submitted more evidence to a DNA crime lab last year and the match came back. 

Credit: Lewis family
Priscilla Lewis was 21-years-old when she was killed

Hamilton was incarcerated at the Martinez Detention Facility for unrelated sexual assault charges and was sentenced to prison for 295 years. 

Hamilton faces four additional charges including murder by lying in wait, felony murder kidnapping, felony murder committed during an attempted rape and felony murder burglary.   

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