Inmate charged in 1998 killing


A 49-year-old convicted robber was indicted yesterday on murder and rape charges in the strangulation death of an 18-year-old woman whose body was found in a Northeast Baltimore stream in 1998, law enforcement officials said.

City prosecutors and police said DNA evidence provided critical help in reopening the investigation into the death of Jada Danita Lambert and led to the indictment of Roy S. Davis, who is serving a state prison sentence in Hagerstown for armed robbery.

The murder of Lambert was one of about 4,000 city homicide and sexual assault cold cases that include potential DNA evidence that is being methodically tested by private labs. The testing is being funded with the aid of a $350,000 grant from the Abell Foundation.

For more than four years, police had no concrete clues in the killing of Lambert. The Woodlawn woman was found raped and strangled in a stream in Herring Run Park on May 1, 1998.

Lambert was last seen alive a day earlier after she left the Motor Vehicle Administration office at Mondawmin Mall where she had obtained a state identification card. At the time, police said they had no clues about what might have happened to her. Yesterday, they declined to release details about the killing or any connections Davis might have had to the victim.

A state database indicated in November that DNA recovered from Lambert matched Davis, who had been required to submit a DNA sample after being convicted of armed robbery several years ago. Further testing revealed a conclusive link, police said in court papers.

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