Where is Clayton Stafford Now? Shawna Yandell Murder Explained

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: August 17, 2023 (Last updated: December 18, 2023)
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Where is Clayton Stafford Now - Shawna Yandell Murder Explained

Where is Clayton Stafford Now? We discuss the murder of Shawna Yandell following the release of the 2023 Hulu true crime series Cold Case Files: DNA Speaks. This article contains disturbing details.

It’s hard to understand why people do the things that they do. And it’s even more unfortunate that there was a period when the police didn’t have the technology to arrest those who committed such heinous crimes.

It’s interesting to see that after nearly a decade after what happened to Shawna Yandell, her family got some justice after her murder.

There are many cases that are coming to the forefront now because the police have different ways to analyze DNA because of technological advancements. No matter when these people get convicted, it’s good to know that the cases will be reopened and justice will be served.

Clayton Stafford has a lengthy track record, according to police, so he was bound to get arrested for at least one of his crimes.

However, they did have his DNA on file because of his prints. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. The important thing is that all the evidence is prepared in his file and that they were able to convict him.

It’s hard to wait years for this information for the family of Yandell. Just waiting and knowing what happened to her will drive anyone mad. Slowly but surely, the pieces come together, and Stafford still believes he isn’t guilty.

People who openly do whatever they please without consequence will never see that they’re guilty, and that’s the sad reality of the situation with Stafford.

Who is Clayton Stafford, and what did he do?

Clayton Stafford had a criminal record all over the West Coast, and in 2007, a group of Boy Scouts found the dead body of Shawna Yandell drifting in the water. In 1993, he allegedly murdered Yandell but wasn’t charged with anything because the technology to accurately match the DNA was unavailable at the time.

Clayton Stafford was charged with the murder and rape of Shawna Yandell. It took 16 years for Stafford to be convicted.

How was Shawna Yandell killed?

From what police have been saying, Shawna Yandell was beaten to death. They also found traces of sperm on the victim’s body but couldn’t find a match. They had a couple of leads, but they all went cold at the time of the murder.

The case was reopened in 2007 and sent the sperm samples to a private lab in Dallas.

Where is Clayton Stafford Now?

Stafford was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree aggravated murder 16 years after the murder and rape of Shawna Yandell. When the family of Yandell spoke out, Stafford responded and said that her actual killer was still on the loose.

The family is comforted knowing they have a face to the name, and he will face the consequences.

How did DNA evidence convict Clayton Stafford?

The lab in Dallas sent the evidence back to the Pacific Northwest to the Washington State Patrol’s crime lab in Seattle. Scientists ran it through national DNA databases, eventually matching it to a sample on file in California.

That is how they found Clayton Stafford in Yakima.

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