After a 30-year wait, investigators have pictured the face of an Army specialist’s killer.
Investigators used a process called phenotyping, relying on DNA samples obtained from the crime scene to reconstruct the likely face of the mysterious man who murdered Spc. Darlene Krashoc and dumped her body behind a Korean restaurant in Colorado Springs on St. Patrick’s Day in 1987.
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“These cases never die,” Colorado Springs Police Lt. Howard Black told The Colorado Springs Gazette.
Krashoc was only 20 years old when someone beat her, bit her, sexually assaulted her and strangled her with a coat hanger and leather straps. She also may have been tossed from a moving vehicle, according to her autopsy.
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A week before her grisly murder, the Fort Carson soldier told her mom she was upset and wanted to leave the Army, though she didn’t say who or what was troubling her, The Gazette reported.
The night of her murder, Krashoc went out dancing and drinking with fellow soldiers. She left the Shuffles nightclub at 1 a.m. on March 17, 1987. Just over four hours later, she was found dead.
The Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, working with a DNA tech company, extracted DNA from crime scene evidence in 2003 and, in 2016, those samples were used to reveal the face of Krashoc’s killer, Stars and Stripes reported.
To be sure, the science is not perfect.
“It is important to note that the composites are scientific approximations of appearance based on DNA, and are not likely to be exact replicas of appearance,” the Army reported in a news release.
But even an imperfect picture could turn up the temperature on a decades-old cold case.
“Any opportunity that can move a homicide case forward, we’ll take that opportunity,” Black told The Gazette.