January 21, 2018

12.27.17 Breaking News: 2016 Murder Case Resolved

2016-25197
Homicide
Updated release 12-27-17
On May 8th, 2016 Baytown Police responded to a welfare concern at The Lakes of
Madera Apartments located at 305 W. Baker Road. When officers arrived they
found 50 year-old Nataliya Shal of Baytown brutally murdered inside her
apartment.
A few months into the investigation, Detectives were able to locate a witness who
was able to provide us with a description of a black male that had been seen
earlier that day near Ms. Shal’s apartment. With the help of this witness a sketch
was developed and in October of 2016, with the help of you, our media partners,
we pushed that photo out to the public in hopes of developing a lead.
We also had recovered substantial DNA evidence from the crime scene, which
was submitted to DPS to be entered into CODIS for comparison, to no avail. In
June of this year we submitted that DNA evidence to the DPS CODIS lab to have
it tested for any familial links to persons currently in custody, what is referred to
as Familial DNA testing.
As a result, on November 28th our Detectives were able to identify a person of
interest in the case as 29 year old Byron Collins of Baytown. Detectives conducted
surveillance of Mr. Collins and were able to obtain a source sample of his DNA,
which was sent to the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science to be compared
to the DNA evidence recovered from our crime scene.
On December 18th we learned from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science
that this DNA sample matched the DNA left at the crime scene by the suspect,
identifying Mr. Collins as our suspect.
On Friday, December 22nd Detectives located Mr. Collins in the same complex
where the murder took place and he was brought in for questioning. Later that
evening Detectives consulted with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office
Special Crimes Bureau, who have been working very closely with our detectives
throughout this case, and charges of Capital Murder were accepted and filed on
Mr. Collins. Mr. Collins is currently being held in the Harris County Jail without
bail.
The Detectives of the Baytown Police Department, the Prosecutors of the Harris
County District Attorney’s Office, the staffs of the DPS lab and the Harris County
Institute of Forensic Science are equally committed in working together in the
pursuit of justice for our victims and their families.