Waco CSI pair assists in catching bank robber

By Linda Wilkins

Assistant City Editor

Two Waco crime scene technicians recently helped the FBI apprehend a serial bank robber suspect.

Crime scene technicians Joyce Marek and Laura Teamer assisted in apprehending Bradley Craig Kilmer, who has been charged with numerous bank robberies in Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said the technicians worked together to find and identify a partial palm print on a napkin used as a demand note in a bank robbery.

The robbery took place in Lacy Lakeview on Aug. 8. By matching the palm print to robbery, the FBI was able to connect Kilmer to the robbery.

Marek,a Waco native, has been a crime scene technician with the Waco Police Department for nine years.

She said she discovered the palm print on a piece of evidence from the Lacy Lakeview robbery. While she was processing the evidence, she was not aware of who the print might belong to or that the person was wanted.

“I try just as hard on every case that I work,” she said. “This case was especially nice because we could get a serial robber off the street.”

After Marek discovered the palm print and photographed it, she sent it to Teamer, who is the Automated Fingerprint Identification System technician.

The AFIS system is a database of more than 5 million fingerprint cards. The database provides three prints that are closest to the original.

Teamer said she went through the candidates and ultimately made the match that led the FBI to Kilmer.

The FBI had developed several leads suggesting that the same person was committing robberies in different states and counties.

When a robbery suspect was caught in Denton, the FBI had the technicians match the palm print to the suspect.

The print was matched to that of 32-year-old Bradley Craig Kilmer.

Marek said the FBI knew the technicians had developed a print from the Lacy Lakeview robbery.

Teamer, whose specialty is fingerprinting, moved to Waco and began working as a crime scene unit technician in May. She said she was brought in on the investigation after Marek had already worked with the evidence.

The FBI recently recognized Marek and Teamer for assisting the them in apprehending the suspect.

Marek and Teamer were presented the Certificate of Recognition by local FBI Agent John Truehitt.

Marek said she was unaware of the award until she walked into Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman’s office Wednesday and saw Truehitt.

“We worked well together with other agencies and the FBI,” Marek said. “It benefits all of us.”

The award was signed by the director of the FBI Robert S. Mueller III.

“It was a special honor to be recognized by the FBI,” Marek said.

Truehitt commended the technicians for the work they did in the case.

“I felt very honored and appreciated,” Teamer said about receiving her certificate.

Sergeant Keith Vaughan, supervisor of the crime scene unit, said the unit, composed of seven technicians, is responsible for processing crime scenes for evidence such as DNA and fingerprints, taking photographs and making diagrams.

He said the technicians respond to different types of scenes that range from burglaries to murders.

Vaughan said the cases regarding the serial bank robberies are on-going.