By Charles Bassett, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Nearly four years after 47-year-old Johnny Ray Daniels, a metro school teacher, was found dead inside his apartment, police have made an arrest.
DNA evidence left at the crime scene lead authorities to 51-year-old Clarence Miller.
The victim's relatives said they are thankful for the technology used to narrow down the killer.
This has been a long time coming for this family. At times they wondered if anyone would ever be caught. They say modern science has answered their prayers.
"He was a very good person," sister of the victim Roberta Robinson said. "He was outgoing, church-loving man and he appreciated life."
Robinson was close to her older brother; the two were only one year apart.
"We thought it would never be solved," Robinson said.
Daniels was a teacher's assistant at Classen School of Advanced Studies.
On November 28, 2004 Daniels didn't show up for work. A relative went to check on him and found him dead in this apartment. He moved there only days before.
Daniels' family had seen Miller with him on occasion.
"I don't know, I don't know why he wanted to murder him," Daniels' mother Bernice Daniels said.
Police collected DNA from cigarette butts at the crime scene, items in the apartment and from Daniels' car which was stolen after the crime. The DNA was recently linked to Miller.
"Often times after an arrest DNA is collected depending on the circumstances, but his DNA was submitted into the system and that's how the hit was made," Oklahoma City Police Major Sgt. Gary Knight said.
Daniels' car was later found; his mother still has it parked in her driveway.
Now the family is preparing for a trial, but they said having an arrest is a weight off their shoulders.
"It's a good relief, all the burdens and stuff is gone," Robinson said.
The family said Daniels had been a teacher for 25 years, and enjoyed working with special needs children.
Clarence Miller has a long history with police including arrests for theft, assault and battery and drunk driving.