In February 2000, a 37-year-old female was found murdered in the front yard at 1132 Lake Avenue underneath a low-hanging pine tree. The female homicide victim was later identified as Linda Fields. The Milwaukee Medical Examiner’s Office autopsy results reported that Ms. Fields was strangled.
Multiple DNA samples were collected and the lab report authored by Sharon Polakowski, in May 2001 indicated that all of the samples were identical and that the DNA that was extracted came from a single unknown male contributor. The DNA profile was entered into the case work index of the Wisconsin DNA databank, the Wisconsin convicted felons’ databank and the national DNA databank with no match at the time. Now retired Inv. Steve Mich was the lead investigator at the time. He interviewed countless witnesses but was never able to make an arrest. The case was reassigned in 2005 and then again in 2012. The DNA of five suspects was compared with the unknown male DNA and all five were eventually eliminated as suspects.
By March 2005, in an additional effort to gain any new leads, collected but previously un-submitted samples were submitted for testing. Male DNA was identified on one of the items that was submitted for testing. This sample was found to have the same DNA profile as the other DNA that was found.
In August 2020, Chief Art Howell instructed the Investigations Unit to take another look the case. In September 2020, Inv. Chris Blackmore was assigned to review and continue the investigation into the death of Linda Fields. Inv. Blackmore was assisted by Special Agent Neil McGrath from the Wisconsin Department Justice Division of Criminal Investigations.
In April 2021, Inv. Blackmore consulted with DCI Special Agent McGrath, FBI Agent Sarah Deamron and DNA Analyst Natalie Fischer of the State of Wisconsin Crime Lab. Fischer determined that there was enough DNA extract to move forward with an Investigative Genetic Genealogy (IGG) analysis. The Wisconsin Crime Lab could also move forward with familial search analysis. The following month, in May 2021, the crime scene DNA evidence was sent to Othram and Othram's scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to produce a comprehensive genealogical profile. This profile was returned to the FBI, where the FBI's genealogy team used the profile to perform the necessary genetic genealogy research to advance the investigation.
Through the help of Special Agent McGrath it was determined that a male person of interest had a brother and a father that was still living. A plan was developed to collect a DNA sample from the brother. With the help of FBI Agent Mark Dring, DNA was collected from the brother and submitted to the Crime Lab. The brother was eliminated as a potential suspect.
In December 2022 the attention was directed towards the father. With the help of Lt. Paul Hayes of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency State Bureau of Investigation, Special Agent McGrath determined that the father was residing in Birmingham, AL. A plan was being developed to collect DNA from the father in Alabama when they learned that the father had traveled to Zion, IL and was residing there. A search warrant was eventually written to collect the father’s DNA.
In February 2023 a DNA sample was obtained from the father and sent to the lab for comparison. In early March 2023, Polakowski informed Inv. Blackmore that the buccal swab from the father was a match to the DNA taken from Linda Fields. She stated that the odds of DNA of a randomly selected person matching the DNA collected from Linda Fields are one in one quadrillion.
The person of interest, Lucas Alonso, was detained at his place of employment in Racine. He was brought in for questioning and eventually arrested on 1st Degree Homicide.