By Chris Edwards
BEAUMONT – A Warren man was arrested and charged with a murder that has remained unsolved for 30 years.
On Tuesday, Aug. 27, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office issued a statement announcing the arrest of Daniel Andrew MacGinnis for the 1988 murder of Patricia Ann Jacobs of Silsbee.
According to the statement from Jefferson County District Attorney Bob Wortham, MacGinnis is in the custody of Jefferson County with a $1 million bond. He was arraigned by Justice of the Peace Ben Collins on Wednesday.
Wortham’s office said that in recent months, the Texas Rangers and the Port Arthur Police Department discovered items of evidence that were subjected to DNA testing that was not available when the crime occurred.
Jacobs, a 36-year-old Hardin County woman, was found deceased in the Neches River beneath the Rainbow Bridge in Port Arthur on Oct. 6, 1988, according to Wortham. The discovery of Jacobs’s body came a day after she was reported as missing. She had not returned home from a meeting at the Silver Spur Tavern in Hardin County, where she was employed.
An autopsy revealed that Jacobs died as a result of drowning and had sustained trauma to her head and face. The manner of death, according to Wortham’s statement, was listed as “probable homicide.”
According to a story published in the Silsbee Beeat the time of the murder, Jacobs was a native of Winnfield, La., and had lived in Silsbee for 18 years at the time of her death.
MacGinnis was a suspect in the initial investigation, which was conducted at that time by the Texas Rangers, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and Port Arthur PD, however the investigation revealed no previous contact between Jacobs and MacGinnis, according to Wortham. Numerous witnesses identified MacGinnis as a suspect, and he was interviewed in California by Texas Rangers. During the interview, he denied any knowledge or involvement in the crime. “The investigation languished for lack of evidence,” Wortham said.
The recent DNA testing came by way of the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab, which developed a DNA profile from the recently discovered evidence that matched MacGinnis, who is a registered sex offender.
The 60-year-old Warren man is listed on the DPS’s Texas Public Sex Offender Registry for three convictions dating back to 1984, and as recent as 2004. They range from aggravated kidnapping to rape by force, and occurred in Texas and California.