Mystery death of woman shot twice in the head was finally solved by crucial clue police discovered AFTER killer’s death
A CIGARETTE butt helped investigators solve a cold case after 26 years.
Washington state authorities have identified a suspect using DNA evidence in the murder of Patricia Barnes.
Detectives with the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office, have now identified Barnes' suspected killer as Douglas Keith Krhone.
DNA on a cigarette butt found at the scene matched DNA found on Barnes' body and other items around her, said KCSO Lead Detective Mike Grant, according to FOX 13 Seattle.
On August 25, 1995, police responded to the scene where Barnes' body was dumped. She was unclothed and partially covered in a ditch.
Detectives released a composite drawing of the suspect and worked on the case for months, but it eventually went cold.
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In 2018, KCSO reopened the case as part of a renewed focus on solving cold cases. Detectives reexamined the evidence and interviewed authorities who worked at the initial crime scene.
There was a significant investigation in and around the ditch where Barnes' body was found. About 130 individual evidence items were collected, according to DNASolves.com.
A lab conducted a forensic analysis of evidence from the case, including the cigarette butt, and provided Krhone's name to detectives as a match.
Authorities followed up with two police departments in Arizona, where Krhone died in 2016.
A DNA sample from Krhone's autopsy exam matched the sample KCSO had.
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At the time of the murder, Krhone was 33 and had addresses in both Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.
He had five previous felony convictions, including first-degree robbery in 1984
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Barnes was 61 at the time of her death. Police determined she had been shot twice in the head.
For some time it was believed Barnes was a victim of the "Spokane Serial Murderer," due to similarities in the killer's methods.
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