Considering it was 1999, the police probably got a bit excited with the idea of DNA. I don't imagine they were trying to mislead anyone, but considering it was new they probably were more likely to jump. It would be interesting to see the files to see if there was any clear suspision over the man. Often the police report will conclude by saying theings like, 'we know it was him but cant prove it' and 'just by talking to him we knew he was guilty and if we could get him before a jury we are certain we could convict', and then when in 1999 they got the DNA, then that as that. BUT. If the police reports ruled him out at the first opportunity because of an alabi etc, that would paint a different picture.
I often think of the Edward Welham case (it took forever to write up)
The report pretty much says as I have described above, but everything pointed to the main suspect, even his demeanour and that they were sure a jury would convict him but there was no evidence. So, if they later got DNA you could see it working out. But if they suddenly match DNA to his girlfriend or her mother that would be outlandish and could have other explanations.
I'd never read the Edward Welham case before. Would make an interesting drama that. Less of a whodunit, more of a prove-i-did-it.
Its also a fascinating insight into another world. A young upwardly mobile man running a kennel in a nice part of the world, romancing a nice girl. Mothers hoping for the best, employers enticipating great things from the seedlings they plant. And all stolen in an unsolved murder. I think there is a sence of pace that refects the time. Leasiourly stroles with dogs in country lanes and not television or internet to make one feel they were not part of the living world. When going into town would have been an adventour. If theres one case that touches a spot its that one, for some reason. Maybe its the photos.
It was also noted that it was understood, beyond saying, that the assistant would never make a dog trainer.
Obviously 'dog trainer' was a presigous or elevated role.