Category Archives: Cold Cases

Inside Maine crime lab that helped catch suspected Alaska cold case killer

AUGUSTA, Maine —The Maine State Crime Lab played a critical role in the recent arrest of a Maine man in connection with a 26-year-old cold case killing in Alaska.
The lab processed a cheek swab from Steve Downs and uploaded the results to a state and federal database known as the Combined DNA Index System.

Police revived a 1973 murder case by live-tweeting a girl’s last day. Now, a DNA match has led to an arrest.

On the day Linda Ann O’Keefe died, it was a cooler-than-normal July morning in Newport Beach, Calif. The brown-haired, blue-eyed 11-year-old got a ride to summer school — about half a mile away — but had to walk home in the afternoon.
It was July 6, 1973, a Friday. When O’Keefe didn’t return home right away, there was little concern at first. But when night fell and her whereabouts were still unknown, her parents called police and desperately combed the neighborhood, to no avail.

Authorities plead for help identifying a human FOOT inside a shoe that washed up on Canadian beach – the 15th time it has happened in just a decade

British Columbia Coroners Service said in a statement on Monday that the foot was discovered still in its shoe on the coast of West Vancouver in September.
DNA testing found no match with the owner and known missing persons, but an evaluation of its bone structure of the foot led a specialist to believe that it belonged to a male under the age of 50.

Father’s Body To Be Exhumed Over Fears Son Wrongly Convicted Of Rape

A family which believes their father may be guilty of historical rapes for which his son was convicted have won permission to have his body exhumed.

Columbus man convicted of 1976 rape and murder is granted a new trial after lack of DNA evidence

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – After more than 4 decades behind bars, a Columbus man convicted of raping and murdering a soldier’s wife, may now be given a new trial. This comes after a local Judge ruled that new testing found his DNA was not present on key pieces of evidence.

After Skakel decision, ‘touch DNA’ may identify Moxley killer

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the state’s motion to review the Connecticut Supreme Court’s decision last May to vacate Michael Skakel’s conviction for the murder of Martha Moxley. As a result, the state faces a difficult choice — whether to try him again, knowing that, in view of the disappearance of some critical evidence, death of some key witnesses and discovery of some exculpatory evidence since his trial in 2002, there would be a low likelihood of a conviction, or accept dismissal of the charges against him.

Phoenix PD Give Details On Sex Assault Investigation At Hacienda

In a statement on Tuesday, Hacienda said it welcomed the development in the ongoing police investigation. The company said that they themselves had consulted attorneys to determine whether it would be legal for them to compel employees to undergo DNA testing or whether they could conduct voluntary DNA testing of their employees.
“We were told it would be a violation of federal law in either instance,” the company said in a statement.

DJ who murdered woman caught after crime scene DNA linked to ancestry database

DNA from the murder scene was kept in storage over the years and it was recently uploaded to a public genealogy database and compared against submitted samples.

Genealogy database, gum help convict DJ in ‘92 killing

LANCASTER, Pa. — A popular Pennsylvania DJ has pleaded guilty to raping and strangling a schoolteacher in 1992 after being identified as a suspect as a result of DNA a relative submitted to a genealogy database.

A cigarette butt and an old scrap of paper led to an arrest in a 26-year-old unsolved killing

Police feverishly sought the identity of the man at the bar, to no avail. But what they didn’t know, at least not for 25 years, was that they already had his name: It was buried in the fine print in their case file, a little footnote jotted down like an afterthought.

New DNA connections finally provide answers in the ‘Hatbox Baby’ mystery

Her mother died when she was three months old, and her father, with six older children, could not care for a seventh. Her uncle, so the family story goes, took the train to a funeral one day and came home with a baby.

Buena Park man steals car, other items — DNA gets him caught

Grand theft, unauthorized computer access and a slew of other crimes have landed a Buena Park man in jail. He was identified on December 21st, 2018, through the Orange County District Attorney’s Office Rapid DNA Program and charged with three felony counts on Christmas Eve.
The circumstances leading up to the case in question started back on June 11th, 2018, when Damian Taylor Maxey, aged 24, provided a DNA sample to the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) DNA database as part of his plea agreement and sentence in the charge of unauthorized use of personally identifiable information.

Appeals court denies Avery request to remand for new scientific testing

MANITOWOC COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – A Wisconsin appeals court has denied Steven Avery’s motion to stay the appeal and remand the case to the circuit court for the purpose of new scientific testing on bones found in a Manitowoc County gravel pit.

California’s Brown orders new DNA testing in old murder case

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown ordered new DNA tests that a condemned inmate says could clear him in a 35-year-old quadruple murder case, which has drawn national attention.
On Monday, Brown ordered tests of four pieces of evidence that Kevin Cooper and his attorneys say will show he was framed for the 1983 Chino Hills hatchet and knife killings of four people. The items that will be tested are a tan T-shirt and orange towel found near the scene and the hatchet handle and sheath.

DNA evidence leads police to charge Iowa man with 1979 murder of 18-year-old woman

Thirty-nine years to the day that a woman was killed and left in her family’s car in the parking lot of an Iowa mall, officials announced Wednesday a suspect was arrested in her murder after DNA at the crime scene was reexamined.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department said Jerry Lynn Burns, 64, was arrested at his job in Manchester after “persistent and determined” investigative work that included a scientific DNA analysis for the killing of Michelle Martinko.