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Utah Prison Inmate Investigated in 1982 Idaho Killing

Utah Prison Inmate Investigated in 1982 Idaho Killing

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Idaho authorities are investigating whether a Utah prison inmate is involved in the 1982 killing of a 14-year-old girl.

Idaho authorities asked the Salt Lake County district attorney's office to obtain a blood sample from Wesley Allen Tuttle, 55. Tuttle is serving a sentence of five-years-to-life for the 1983 murder of Sydney Anne Merrick.

Idaho officials are investigating the killing of 14-year-old Lisa Chambers. Chambers left for school at 7:15 a.m. Nov. 10, 1982, but never showed up, court documents state.

The teen was found by two hunters in a cornfield near Lake Hazel in Boise on Thanksgiving. Investigators said the girl was strangled with her own shoelace and was sexually assaulted.

A forensic scientist with the Idaho State Police crime lab notified Utah authorities that DNA recovered from the child's underwear matched Tuttle's, according to court documents. Investigators wanted a blood sample to confirm the match.

Inmates are required to give a DNA sample after being booked into prison. However, a blood sample provides a more accurate DNA reading, Department of Corrections spokesman Jack Ford said.

In 1985, Tuttle and two other inmates escaped from prison. He was later recaptured.

On Nov. 26, 1991, he was transferred to a prison in Montana because of safety concerns in Utah, Ford said. Tuttle served 5,608 days, or more than 15 years, before being returned to the prison in Draper on April 4.

Tuttle is scheduled for a parole hearing in May 2009.

------ Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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