WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Wichita police homicide detective was questioned Tuesday morning in the trial of Cornell McNeal. McNeal is accused of beating, raping, and setting Letitia Davis on fire at Wichita’s Fairmount Park in 2014.

Detective Tim Relph testified he was called to the scene where Letitia was found burned on Nov. 15, 2014. He said from the beginning that the department knew how severe the case was.

“It was thought from the beginning her injuries were very, very severe. The possibility of her surviving was not high,” Relph told the court. “So we often take cases that they appear they might lead to a homicide.”

The detective testified he knew about the rape statement Davis made and that the SANE kit collection was significant in the case.

“We asked for a priority on it. On a crime like this,” Relph said.

The detective said, within days, he learned of the suspect while at a community meeting about the attack.

“Detective Cory, he called me and told me there had been a likely DNA or DNA match on the sample from the swab at the scene or the swab taken from Letitia at the hospital that had matched up to a previous case, to a previous case, where a sample had been taken from a person in that case,” Relph said.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett followed up in questioning and asked about “the name of the match or the name of the person who was the suspect.”

“Cornell McNeal,” Relph said.

Relph said McNeal was found at a North Battin home and was arrested.

A video of Relph and another detective’s interview with McNeal was shown to the jury.

Other testimony came from Dr. Scott Kipper who talked about Letitia’s cause of death being from burns and blunt force head injuries. He also discussed why the autopsy was necessary.

KSN News will continue to follow the latest developments in the trial online. Read about more coverage here.