Jury Convicts Man 26 Years Later

26 years later, a jury has convicted Ahjeeb Jamal Boyd for the rape and murder of 22-year-old Jill Dara Sampson. Sampson was a student at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise located in downtown Los Angeles. That tragic night, she was on her way home when a freeway closure took her off of the 101.

(CNS) Firefighters responding to the vehicle fire in the early morning hours of Sept. 29, 1991, found Jill Dara Sampson's body after the blaze had been put out. Originally from Colorado, she had been living in Los Angeles for less than a month. Sampson's body was found in the passenger seat of her torched car, parked in a secluded area of 45th and Flower streets, said LAPD Detective Roger Allen of the Criminal Conspiracy Unit of the Major Crimes Division. 

The body was ``charred beyond recognition,'' but a sexual assault kit still managed to provide genetic material, Allen said during a news conference at the LAPD's downtown headquarters. That evidence subsequently led to a DNA hit on Boyd, who was serving time in state prison for robbery when arrested in February 2014 for Sampson's murder.

``As to why it occurred, it's unknown,'' the detective said. ``Obviously, the motive was sexual assault.''

Allen, who began investigating the cold case six years ago, theorized that one of the many freeway closures in 1991 -- resulting from the construction of carpool lanes -- caused Sampson to detour off the Hollywood (101) Freeway on her return to her apartment from a visit to the South Bay. Allen said the ``difficult part'' was trying to guess how the victim and Boyd -- who lived 220 yards from the crime scene -- initially made contact.

``This was a violent encounter,'' he said, adding that Sampson was beaten and raped. Deputy District Attorney Gloria Marin, who prosecuted the case, said it took 26 years to bring ``finality and closure'' to Sampson's family, who declined to speak to reporters.``

Justice was finally achieved for Jill Sampson,'' Marin said.

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