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DNA From Bite Mark Saliva Leads to Murder Charges

January 12, 1994

LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. (AP) _ Saliva found in a bite mark on a slain woman’s arm is the key evidence against a woman accused of killing her husband’s mistress and 5-month-old son.

Forensic investigators identified three genetic markers in the saliva, and matched them to three markers taken from the saliva of Lisa Peng, 44.

The odds of another person having the same three markers is 40,000 to one, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

″This was the first case they ever used (the technique) on,″ said Deputy District Attorney Ron Cafferty. ″They just got it up and running in December.″

Peng sobbed and fainted during her appearance Tuesday in South Orange County Municipal Court. She pleaded innocent to two counts of murder, and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Defense attorney Marshall Schulman said DNA testing is unreliable.

″Based upon the slim reports in the case file, she shouldn’t have been arrested,″ Schulman said.

Peng’s husband, Jim Peng, discovered the bodies of the victims Aug. 17. His mistress, Jennifer Ji, had been stabbed multiple times and their son, Kevin, had been smothered.

Prosecutors said Mrs. Peng apparently knew about her husband’s affair for years, but may have seen the baby for the first time on the day of the killings.

Update hourly