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Iowa police arrest man in unsolved child slaying

Published: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 11:32 a.m. CDT

MASON CITY (AP) — DNA collected from a man over the winter linked him to a nearly 20-year-old unsolved child slaying, Mason City police announced Monday.

Mason City Police Chief Mike Lashbrook said Michael Jason Cisneros, 37, was arrested after authorities matched his DNA to evidence from pajama bottoms worn by 20-month-old John Joseph Snyder Jr., the Mason City Globe Gazette reported.

The boy was reported missing from his father’s Mason City apartment on July 21, 1994. He was found a day later snagged on a tree in nearby Willow Creek, and an autopsy said he died of drowning and a skull injury. The pajama bottoms and a diaper were found along the creek.

A DNA analysis of the evidence collected in 1994 was not available at the time because of limited technology. DNA results were later obtained in 2002 and became a part of the case file.

“Was it not for their hard work back in 1994, it would not be possible to bring justice to this little boy,” Lashbrook said.

Cisneros, who police say previously lived in Mason City, was a person of interest in the case. His DNA was collected after he was transported to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in December. State law required the sample be collected, and the DNA matched evidence on the pajama bottoms, police said.

Police issued a warrant for Cisneros’ arrest Friday. He is currently being held at the Cerro Gordo County Jail. Records do not list an attorney.