AUSTIN (KXAN) - Autopsy reports for the suspect in Esme Barrera's murder show the 25-year-old died by asphyxia.
Authorities found James Loren Brown with a plastic bag over his head, secured with packing tape. His hands were handcuffed behind his back, according to officials.
A suicide note was also found at the scene.
Meanwhile, the Travis County Medical Examiner's officials completed the toxicology report on Brown, which found no drugs in his system -- though there was alcohol.
Officials said the alcohol level sat at 0.15 in the decomposed tissue, though they did not say if this meant Brown was drunk
Cold medications were also found in his system .
- acetominephen , anti-inflammatory
- doxylamine, sedating antihistamine
- dextromethorphan, cough medicine
According to police, the DNA that was found at the scene of the attack on New Year's Day in the 300 block of East 31st Street matched several assaults that happened in South Austin from last summer .
On Jan. 12, detectives responded to the 3000 block of Guadalupe Street on a deceased-person call. The victim's roommate returned home after a holiday break and found his roommate, Brown, dead from an apparent suicide. Police said no evidential reason for the suicide was found during the initial investigation.
During the investigation, the detectives noted that the residence was a short distance from the 3100 block of King Street, which is where Esmeralda Barrera was murdered on Jan. 1, and the separate assault that happened in the same block.
A picture of Brown at his home resembled the composite sketch that had been circulating and Brown also had a similar physical build.
On Jan. 13, detectives returned to Brown's residence and seized several items.
On Jan. 25, DNA scientists were able to confirm that the tests results linked Brown to the East 31st Street case.
Because Brown is linked to that particular case, police believe Brown is also a suspect in the four other unsolved cases in South Austin that have been connected through DNA evidence.
"These were early morning attacks," said Cmdr. Julie O'Brien. "It was a black male suspect. His physical description was very similar in each of these and he attacked women while they were out jogging, or walking -- usually it was jogging -- and would either push or pull them to the ground and then run off."
The circumstances of the four unsolved cases are similar to the circumstances of the assault with injury that occurred about 30 minutes before Barrera's murder and in the same block.
Wednesday, Austin police released the following statement:
"There is no DNA evidence that either includes or excludes James Brown as a suspect in the Esme Barrera murder case; however, he remains a prime suspect. This is an active case where detectives are continuously investigating all avenues of uncovering evidence. "
Police said Brown was also a Navy veteran who had only lived in Austin for a 1 1/2 years.
Police said they are currently considering Brown a suspect in Barrera's murder but emphasized they still have a lot of investigative work to do before this is considered a closed case. There is no DNA evidence that includes or excludes Brown as a suspect in the Barrera killing, although he remains a prime suspect, according to APD.
"It is yet an active case where detectives are continuously investigating all avenues of uncovering evidence," according to spokeswoman Veneza Aguinaga.
"I want to emphasize while we're not saying we've solved the Esmeralda Barrera case, I can say that based on everything we've seen so far, we're sleeping a little bit more comfortably tonight," said Acevedo.
APD said they will continue investigating to determine whether to include Brown as a viable suspect in Esmeralda Barrera's murder or exclude Brown from further consideration.
"We know that when we have a person amongst us that's preying on our community that what's going to bring that person to justice is two things: (1) is good police work and (2) is the community that we serve," Acevedo said.
Police have said that they are re-interviewing people from similar assault cases to see if Brown was connected to those as well. They said they don't have a motive for the crimes yet but hope to learn more about this suspect as the investigation continues.
APD has also asked if anyone saw or had contact with Brown on New Year's Eve or during the early part of January 2012 to contact the Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.
A representative at the Fayette County Sheriff's office said that Fayette County is effectively shut down due to icy conditions.
The Austin City Council is set to vote Thursday on design changes for the Auditorium Shores Dog Park.
Bryce Petty threw touchdown passes on the first two drives of the second half for No. 9 Baylor and the Bears won their first Big 12 title and a Fiesta Bowl berth with a 30-10 victory over No. 23 Texas on Saturday.