Soldier Arrested After New DNA Evidence Links Him To 2019 Motel Murder

The motel pictured is not the Days Inn in question. (Shutterstock/melissamn)

Font Size:

A 20-year-old soldier assigned to Fort Hood has reportedly been charged with murdering a woman found in a motel near the United States Army base. Police say they arrested Spc. Cory Grafton on Nov. 3 after obtaining a warrant based on DNA evidence.

The victim in question, Chelsea Lynell Cheatham, was found unconscious and not breathing at a Days Inn on June 3, 2019, according to a Killeen Police Department press release. Police and paramedics responded and carried out “life saving measures” before she was pronounced dead, per the same release.

Police had been unsure as to the cause of death until an autopsy ordered by Justice of the Peace Daryl Peters ordered an autopsy to be performed at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences, Stars and Stripes reported. The results of the autopsy reportedly led authorities to determine the death was a homicide.

After a witness told authorities Grafton was at the motel, police later interviewed the soldier and collected DNA, per Stars and Stripes. The Texas Department of Public Safety later ran Grafton’s DNA and matched it to DNA evidence left at the scene, per the same outlet.

A number of other deaths have occurred in 2020 involving troops based at Ford Hood. (RELATED: Vanessa Guillen’s Family Can Collect Benefits After Army Says She Died ‘In The Line Of Duty’)

It should be noted that Grafton is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.