If he had kept his nose clean, Curtis Batchelor could have gotten away with murder, police sources said Saturday.
The 41-year-old murder suspect, who was arrested last week when his DNA was connected to a 1999 homicide of a 56-year-old woman, was ordered to provide a genetic sample for the New York State criminal database after pleading guilty to felony drug selling charges in 2013, officials said.
Yet he never showed up to provide the sample, police sources said — and remained free for three more years without being connected to the 17-year-old murder case.
On January 14, 2016, Batchelor was arrested again, this time for fare evasion when a cop caught him using a student MetroCard to get onto the train at the 59th Street station, cops said.
Even though that charge was dismissed, cops learned that there was an unanswered court order to provide a DNA sample and forced him to give one.
In a few months, the DNA was linked to the death of Elsa Grullon.
Cops were able to arrest Batchelor after they matched his DNA to semen taken from Brullon’s body in the 1999 case.
Concerned after not seeing her for two days, Grullon’s son-in-law checked and found her face-up in the bedroom of her fifth-floor apartment on Gerard Ave. near E. 157th St. in Highbridge.
She was under a blanket and bleeding from 22 stab wounds, sources said.
At the time of the murder, Batchelor was 24 and lived one floor below Grullon, sources said.
Cops had the DNA link, but they didn’t have Batchelor, who had avoided capture until last week.
Detectives searched for him as far away as Virginia as they tracked him down, officials said.