Authorities announced Wednesday that DNA evidence found in a cigarette left at the scene has helped solve the cold case of the murder of a Washington woman.
Douglas Keith Krohne, who was killed in 2016, from accidental causes, was identified by Detective Mike Grant of Kitsap County Sheriff's Office. He said this during a news conference.
According to the sheriff's, Barnes, 61 was shot twice in her head in August that year. According to NBC affiliate KING in Seattle, her body was discovered unclothed and partially covered on a rural road in the County.
Barnes was last seen alive by a person who provided a description of a suspect. However, the sketch did not lead to an official sketch and the case remained cold for many years.
Barnes' case was reopened on April 2018. DNA samples taken from the scene were sent to Othram in Texas, and DNA Labs International, both in Washington, for testing.
Grant stated that Othram received a DNA submission. It resulted in a "common unidentified" male DNA profile. The DNA was then compared with the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (also known as CODIS), but it did not yield any matches.
Othram used the DNA evidence to search genealogical databases for the suspect's relatives.
Othram, who provided a possible suspect name based upon the DNA on Dec. 22, 2021, led investigators to Arizona. They collaborated with the Nogales police and the Pima County medical examiner.
Grant stated, "At this point it was determined that the potentially matching suspected had died from accidental causes in September 2016".
The Pima County Medical Examiner's Office provided the sheriff's with a sample from the suspect's postmortem examination on December 29, which was tested by the sheriff's department and compared to the suspect's DNA profile in January.
The DNA match was confirmed by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab on February 7, and Krohne was identified as the suspect DNA profile.
Grant stated that the linchpin of the evidence was a cigarette bitt found at the location where the body dump is located. Grant spoke to Fox affiliate KCPQ in Seattle.
Grant said, "The evidence on the corps could mean one or two, three things, but when you have the DNA from a cigarette and DNA on her body and items around her body it was conclusive that I had the right man."
Grant stated in the news conference that Krohne was 33 years old when the murder occurred. Krohne also had addresses in Seattle, Tacoma and Washington.
Grant stated that Grant also had a "significant criminal history" in Washington, including a 1984 conviction in Washington for first -degree Robbery and an arrest in Pierce County in 1994 for second -degree Kidnapping.
The investigation revealed that there was no prior connection between Krohne or Barnes.
Barnes' family was informed that her case had been resolved on Monday by Grant. Grant called the conversation "emotional."
DNA taken from cigarette butts has been used to crack several cold cases such as the 1985 murder in Florida of mother Tonya McKinley, and the 1996 murder of Angie Dodge.