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How Bad Spelling Doomed Sayoc

Authorities didn't just use fingerprints
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2018 12:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Cellphone pings, DNA, and misspelled words all helped authorities to find and arrest suspected bomb-mailer Cesar Sayoc on Friday, CNN reports. Law enforcement officials say they got a big break Thursday when five of the packages were traced to a processing and distribution center in Opa-Locka, near Miami. When DNA traces and fingerprints on a package to Rep. Maxine Waters identified Sayoc, who had a criminal record, authorities used his cell number and nearby cell towers to see if his timing and location matched the mailings. Officials also scoured his social media posts, where misspelled words (like "Hilary" instead of "Hillary") matched misspellings on the packages. When authorities noticed a ping from Sayoc's cell phone, they traced the 56-year-old to an AutoZone and arrested him. For more, including Sayoc's "niche":

  • Cooperative: Sayoc was partly cooperative with authorities at first, saying the pipe bombs weren't dangerous and he didn't intend to hurt anyone. Now lawyered up, he's no longer being questioned.
  • Multi-hyphenate: Sayoc had been working as a DJ and bouncer at a Florida strip club, per CNN. He'd also been a bodybuilder and male dancer. On LinkedIn he was a self-described choreographer and booking agent at Seminole Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Fla., but Seminole leaders and Hard Rock International say there's "no evidence" of a link to Sayoc.

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