20-Year-Old Case Solved

There’ll be no arrest, no prosecution, or a conviction.  But, Tuesday the Palmer District Attorney’s office and the state troopers officially closed a 20 year old sexual assault case, satisfied they’d finally identified the perpetrator.

The official designation is “closed by exception.”

The assault took place on the afternoon of February 7, 1991.

Megan Peters, the information officer for the Alaska State Troopers, says the Troopers, using the Mat-Su Crime Stoppers program and armed with three drawings produced from information provided by the young victim, spent hundreds of hours trying to find the man.

Then,14 years later, a break in the case occurred.  It’s just nobody knew it at the time.

Late last year, the state Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory reported the DNA match.  Out of the 9 million, 800 thousand profiles in the federal DNA data base, Brooks’ sample was described as a “perfect” match to the DNA of the stranger who had assaulted the girl years before.

Orin Dym, Forensic Laboratory Manager at the state Scientific Crime Detection facility tells that cold case material involving new DNA appraisals take place as it’s possible, given the large amount of evidence processing demanded by current cases.

After the DNA identification, troopers tried through Brooks’ family and friends to discover where the suspect had been living, what vehicles he drove and what he was doing in 1991.  They were unsuccessful finding the house or verifying the vehicle.  But the DNA match was considered sufficient to close the case.

The victim, now 28, her husband and parents were personally informed of the identification and conclusion of the case before the troopers’ announcement.

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landerson (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8449 | About Len

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