We received information from the Smith County Sheriff's Office about a 6-year-old case involving a child who was inappropriately touched at a local camp and how DNA evidence and the relentless pursuit of justice lead to the arrest of a Mineola man.

According a press release we received from Sgt. Larry Christian, back on March 8, 2015, Smith County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a sexual assault that occurred at Sky Ranch Camp near Van, Texas. It was reported that an unknown white male entered into a cabin in the middle of the night and inappropriately touched a female child who was sleeping in her bed. The male was observed by one of the female chaperones at the camp before he fled the scene on foot.

The child received a sexual assault exam (SANE) and a forensic interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County. The child also provided a detailed account of the assault as well as a detailed description of the suspect.

Smith County Investigators made contact with Caylon Whittington but he denied having any knowledge of an incident occurring at Sky Ranch. At the time of this incident, Caylon Whittington lived in the vicinity of Sky Ranch and his address was approximately one mile from the victim’s cabin.

Despite police suspicions, the case came to a stand still for nearly 5 years until October 15, 2020, when notification of a CODIS match was received from the testing of evidence collected during the SANE exam. CODIS is the national database system that houses the DNA profiles of convicted offenders, profiles developed from evidence in unsolved crimes, and profiles developed for the identification of missing persons. The "match" returned to Whittington.

Roughly two weeks later, investigators obtained a warrant to collect a sample of  Whittington's DNA but the results didn't return until the start of April this year when they came back as a confirmed match.

Caylon was arrested in Llano County and was transported to the Smith County Jail on April 19 and is currently faces charges of Burglary of a Habitation with Intent to Commit a Sex Offense.

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