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Crime scene leader takes stand

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news Worthington, 56187

Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

WORTHINGTON -- Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) Crime Scene Team Leader Kris Deters testified Monday that she and her team did not find any kind of object that may have been used to harm the child Josue Fraga is accused of murdering last year in March.

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Fraga has been in jail for more than a year following his arrest. He is facing first-degree and second-degree murder charges in the death of his 2-year-old niece Samantha, who died of head trauma and showed evidence of having been molested. The girl had a variety of bruises and a burst stomach.

Fraga and his wife brought the child into the emergency room March 20, 2008, before 6 a.m. The doctor who performed the autopsy testified last week that he believes the girl died four to eight hours before she was brought into the emergency room. Her body temperature when brought to the hospital was 84 degrees.

When the crime scene team began to process the home where Samantha had lived with her aunt, brother, four cousins and Fraga, they found a variety of semen stains in both the master bedroom and the children's bedroom. Feces and feces stains were found on several items, including socks in the master bedroom, some tissues stuck with duct tape in the bathroom garbage can, a twin bed sheet and a pair of shorts found in the bathtub. Also in the bathtub was a pair of Samantha's pants that contained feces.

They also found male enhancement products in the house and an empty male enhancement product bottle in the family's car. Fraga's wife testified Friday she had no knowledge of her husband's use of such products.

Deters said her team found two diapers that may have been wet at one time, but didn't find any that were soiled, even after going through all the garbage in the house and the can in the yard. They did not, she said, check any garbage cans belonging to neighbors or any dumpsters on the route Fraga would have travelled to pick up his wife from work at 2:30 a.m.

The house itself, Deters testified, was not very clean and the smell of urine strong when they walked in. The bulk of the team's search, she said, was focused on the bedrooms, bathroom and the hallway where the laundry facility was located.

"We were there to try to determine where the injuries to Samantha may have occurred -- where the assault took place," Deters said. "And also to try to determine who may have caused her injuries."

The jury looked at photos taken by the BCA crime scene team and were also shown detailed diagrams of the mobile home and the children's bedroom, where all six slept in two sets of bunk beds. The curtains that hung next to the bed Samantha shared with her 3-year-old brother were damp, Deters said, and smelled strongly of urine.

Fraga's wife testified Friday that she had been in the process of toilet training the little girl, so she did not wear a diaper during the day. At night the child was diapered some of the time, but not every night.

Testimony regarding results of various DNA tests is expected today.

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