On this day, Jan. 6, in 2002, fashion writer Christa Worthington was found stabbed to death at her Cape Cod home, with her 2-year-old daughter, Ava, clinging to her body and smeared with blood.

"Mommy fell down," the little girl told a neighbor who found them.

Worthington, 45, a world-traveling and Vassar-educated writer, was found half-naked in her secluded bungalow in Truro, Mass. Police asked all males in town for voluntary DNA samples.

Detectives at first suspected a married law enforcement officer with whom Worthington had an affair and who was Ava's father, but his DNA cleared him.

Three years later, DNA evidence linked the crime to trash collector Christopher McCowen. He was found guilty of murder, rape and burglary and sentenced to life without parole.

- Scott McCabe