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NH AG: New DNA Testing Techniques Help Crack Cold Case Killings

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Two men have been arrested in the 1988 killings of two lesbian women.

Two men have been arrested in the 1988 killings of two lesbian women.

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CONCORD, N.H. (CBS/AP) — Two men arrested in Canada and charged with killing two women in New Hampshire more than 22 years ago have long been linked to the case.

Officials say 43-year-old Anthony Barnaby was arrested Monday in Montreal while 49-year-old David Caplin was arrested in New Carlisle, Quebec.

The two men are Canadian Micmac Indians who were working construction in Nashua in 1988, when 48-year-old Charlene Ranstrom and 32-year-old Brenda Warner were killed in their home.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports.

Barnaby was prosecuted three times in the killings. All three trials ended in mistrials, the last in 1990.

Murder charges against Caplin were dropped 20 years ago after statements he made were suppressed by a judge.

But, the case was reopened last fall with help from the Nashua Police and the NH Attorney General’s Cold Case Unit.

New Hampshire’s Attorney General Mike Delaney said Tuesday that investigators re-interviewed witnesses and used new types of DNA testing that were not available 23 years ago.

“Nashua police never gave up on this case, and they never gave up on the victims of these brutal homicides,” said Delaney.

Relatives say Brenda and Charlene were lesbians, and they believe the suspects attacked them in part because they didn’t approve of their lifestyles.

Brenda Warner’s brother Lesley says of the new charges, “I’m just so excited, I’m on cloud nine from what I heard.”

Carl Warner thought his sister Brenda’s killers would never see justice.

“I had lost hope for a while because after twenty years, noting and nothing,” Carl said. He added he is grateful to hear police are moving forward with the case.

Prosecutors wouldn’t comment on whether they believe this was a hate crime. They say Barnaby and Caplin are charged with premeditated murder.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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