Posted at: 01/10/2013 8:52 PM
Updated at: 01/10/2013 10:13 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Albuquerque police are crediting Katie's Law to helping them find a man accused in a horrendous sex crime. Ironically, Katie's family is celebrating the passage of her law nationwide on the same day.
27-year-old Francisco Perez is accused of kidnapping a 76-year-old woman who was walking laps at the Alamosa Elementary school track, then raping her. Police said they had his DNA on file from another crime, and it matched the DNA collected in this case. They say it is a classic example of how Katie's Law works.
"We are thrilled," David Sepich said.
He and his family are celebrating a milestone of hard work and years of determination. Nearly a decade after their daughter, Katie Sepich, was murdered by a complete stranger in Las Cruces, a law in her name has now been signed by President Obama.
"This is a culmination of four long years of work that we put in in Washington D.C. working with our legislators from New Mexico and help with people from all over the country," Sepich said.
A similar law, already in effect here in New Mexico, requires DNA to be collected from anyone arrested on a violent felony charge. Had that law been in effect when Katie was murdered, it is likely police would have found her killer just 3 months later when he committed another crime. Instead, it took three years to catch her killer.
Obama signed Katie's Law Thursday which gives incentives to states who start a DNA collection program.
"We have seen many, many results from the successes of Katie's law taking heinous criminals off the street," Sepich said.
Sepich says his family used money from a life insurance policy they had on Katie to pay for all their work to get these bills passed.