Man Charged With Raping, Murdering Ballerina

Prosecutors charged a man Tuesday with raping and murdering a 21-year-old college ballet dancer (search) nearly eight years ago.

District Attorney Tim Kuykendall said DNA evidence linked Anthony C. Sanchez, 25, to the death of Jewell "Juli" Busken.

Sanchez, who had already been imprisoned for unrelated convictions including burglary, also was charged with sodomy and kidnapping. Kuykendall said he would seek the death penalty (search).

Investigators had entered DNA evidence (search) from the crime scene into a national database of DNA profiles. Last year, a DNA sample was taken from Sanchez under a state law requiring inmates convicted of sex crimes, burglary and assault to give a DNA sample.

The two matched.

According to police, Busken had just finished her last semester earning a dance degree at the University of Oklahoma and was preparing to travel home to Arkansas for Christmas break when she was abducted Dec. 20, 1996.

Police believe Busken had returned to her apartment after dropping off a friend at the airport in Oklahoma City. A neighbor in the apartment complex -- about a mile from where Sanchez lived at the time -- called police after hearing a scream and a car door slam.

Busken's body was spotted by a fisherman that evening in at a lake in Oklahoma City. She had been raped, bound and shot in the head.

Mary Jean Busken, Juli Busken's mother, said she wants the person responsible for her daughter's death to be isolated and unable to hurt anyone else.

The Arkansas woman thanked law enforcement officers for not giving up on the case and residents for praying for the family.

"I think what we did was decide God was in control," she said.