Caylon Whittington.jpg

Caylon Whittington

Through DNA technology, a Mineola man was charged earlier this month in connection with a sexual assault of a girl at an East Texas camp six years ago.

Caylon Whittington, 29, was booked into the Smith County Jail on Monday after police arrested him in Llano County on April 6 for allegedly inappropriately touching a girl while she slept at Sky Ranch Camp near Van in March 2015.

He has been charged with burglary of a habitation with intent to commit a sex offense and he remains in the Smith County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

The Smith County Sheriff’s Office responded to the report of a sexual assault on March 8 six years ago. The report stated an unknown white male entered into a cabin at night and inappropriately touched the girl in the bed, and the male was seen by a female chaperone at the camp before he fled on foot.

The girl received a sexual assault exam and forensic interview at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County, and she gave a detailed account of the assault and description of the suspect, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators spoke with several persons of interest matching the victim’s description and searched the area. Officers met with Whittington at that time, but he denied knowing anything about the incident at Sky Ranch. At that time, he lived near the camp and his address was about 1 mile from the cabin.

On Oct. 15 last year, a notification showed a DNA match from the sexual assault exam. The Combined DNA Index System, also known as CODIS, is a national database that includes DNA profiles of convicted offenders, profiles developed from evidence in unsolved crimes and profiles developed for the identification of missing persons.

The match appeared to be Whittington, and the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab requested a sample from Whittington for further examination, the sheriff’s office said.

After getting a warrant for the DNA sample, results from the DPS lab returned on April 1 this year showed Whittington as a match, according to police.

A warrant for burglary of a habitation with intent to commit a sex offense charge was then issued.


Multimedia Journalist

I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.