DPD makes arrest in Zoe Hastings murder case

- Dallas police say DNA led them to an arrest for the murder of 18-year-old Zoe Hastings.

Antonio Lamar Cochran, 34, is in police custody and is charged with capital murder. His bond was set at $1 million.

Hastings was last seen on Oct. 11 outside of a Walgreens store on Garland Road. She was on the way to church and stopped to return a Redbox movie.

A witness told police she saw a man speaking to a blonde woman in a white minivan at that Walgreens around the time Hastings disappeared. The witness said the man got into the minivan and the woman moved over to the passenger seat.

Police said DNA test results came back late Friday night. They searched through an offender database and linked Cochran to evidence collected at the crime scene.

The U.S. Marshall's Fugitive Apprehension Team arrested him at his apartment complex Saturday morning.

Police said Cochran has an extensive criminal record for drugs and theft.

His former boss at a Texarkana Hooters said his criminal past wasn’t a secret, but the news is still shocking.

“I honestly thought he was trying to turn his life around. I’m not sure what happened,” said Payton Schoeck, the restaurant’s general manager.

Schoeck said Cochran told him about some past legal trouble with an underage girl and admitted he has anger issues, but worked well as a cook until he stopped showing up about three months ago.

“From the time he worked with me he was a genuinely good guy. I wouldn’t think he was capable of this,” he said.

According to court records, Cochran was found not guilty in January on charges of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old Texarkana girl.

That girl testified that in February of 2014 while he was dating her mother he offered to give her a ride. Then he threatened to kill her and sexually assaulted her in the car in a wooded area.

But the public defender said the independent witnesses and facts of the case didn’t convince the jury that the alleged victim was telling the truth.

The charges were dropped and a few months later Cochran moved to Dallas.

A spokesman for the Hastings family said his arrest brings “mixed emotions.”

“There is a sense of comfort that someone has been arrested and that adds one answer to the puzzle, but that doesn’t take away the pain and grief of losing their daughter,” said Shonn Brown.

The family also asked for continued privacy and prayers.

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