Tag Archives: cold

How a discarded restaurant napkin led to an arrest in the 32-year-old cold case of a murdered US schoolgirl

How a discarded restaurant napkin led to an arrest in the 32-year-old cold case of a murdered US schoolgirlFor over three decades the disappearance and vicious murder of Michella Welch had left police at a loss. The 12-year-old had disappeared in March 1986 from a park in the city of Tacoma, in Washington State. At the time, she had been babysitting her two younger sisters in Puget Park and had rode off on her bike to pick up some sandwiches. When she returned her sisters were in a nearby business using the lavatory, and Michella is believed to have gone looking for them. When Michella’s sisters returned they found her bike and the sandwiches by a table in the park, but their sister was gone. A police dog discovered her body later that evening down a ravine. She had been raped and murdered. At the time DNA was taken from the scene and placed into evidence, yet the investigation struggled and was eventually filed as an unresolved cold case. However advances in DNA technology over the following decades prompted detectives to take another look at the case. In 2006 police scientists managed to reconstruct a DNA imprint from items collected at the crime scene, although no link was found to any known offender in the United States. Twelve years later progress came due to the growth of genetic genealogy, with its vast databases and archives, including from people researching their family history using DNA testing kits from companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com. "Genetic genealogy uses DNA technology to identify subjects by matching the unknown profile to a family member," Tacoma Police Chief Don Ramsdell told reporters. "Traditional genealogy is then used to build a family tree from publicly available websites," he said. The technology led police to two brothers, whose age and place of residence in 1986 eventually made them suspects. They were placed under surveillance as police waited for a chance to verify their genetic profiles. Earlier this month one of them, Gary Hartman, ate breakfast at a restaurant with a co-worker, oblivious to the undercover investigator sitting at a neighboring table. Gary Charles Hartman appearing in court charged with the rape and murder of Michella Welch  When Hartman left the investigator collected the napkin he used to wipe his mouth and sent it to a lab for analysis. The tests discovered that the DNA matched that found on Michella Welch's body. Police arrested Hartman without incident at a set of traffic lights and on Friday prosecutors charged the 66-year-old with first-degree murder and first-degree rape. He is currently being held in custody in lieu of $ 5 million (£3.7 million) bail and is due to appear back in court on Monday. "This case does truly represent the crossroads of good old-fashioned police work combined with improvements in technology," Ramsdell said. Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist had a warning to criminals. "Today we are at a point where, if you are a criminal and you left your DNA at the scene, you might as well turn yourself in now. We will catch you," he said.



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2 Cold Cases More than 40 Years Old Believed to Be Linked to Married Serial Killers: Police

2 Cold Cases More than 40 Years Old Believed to Be Linked to Married Serial Killers: PoliceThe remains of an unidentified woman are believed to be those of Mary Ann Perez.



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The Cold Frontier, Part Five: A journey along North Korea's edge

The Cold Frontier, Part Five: A journey along North Korea's edgeBy Seung-Woo Yeom and Hongji Kim SEOUL (Reuters) – Most North Koreans who break out do so by crossing the river border. When the artist finally left North Korea in 2001, he brought photos of his family with him. “All I could think about was getting to China to buy food.



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The Cold Frontier, Part Five: A journey along North Korea's edge

The Cold Frontier, Part Five: A journey along North Korea's edgeBy Seung-Woo Yeom and Hongji Kim SEOUL (Reuters) – Most North Koreans who break out do so by crossing the river border. When the artist finally left North Korea in 2001, he brought photos of his family with him. “All I could think about was getting to China to buy food.



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Cold Case Murder Victim Identified After 37 Years

Cold Case Murder Victim Identified After 37 YearsOnce known only as 'Buckskin Girl' or Jane Doe, the Miami County, Ohio, murder victim now has a name.



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U.N. chief warns another Cold War developing between Russia, U.S.

U.N. chief warns another Cold War developing between Russia, U.S.By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations chief Antonio Guterres warned on Thursday that Russian and U.S. relations were deteriorating into a situation “similar, to a large extent, to what we lived during the Cold War” and called for safeguards to be put in place. Just days after the United States announced it would expel 12 Russian U.N. diplomats over a nerve agent attack in Britain, Guterres called for Washington and Moscow to re-establish lines of communication aimed at preventing any escalation of tensions.



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Mike Pence Left Out In Cold At Winter Olympics VIP Reception

Mike Pence Left Out In Cold At Winter Olympics VIP ReceptionVice President Mike Pence didn’t get the VIP treatment at a VIP reception before the Winter Olympics opening ceremony on Friday.



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Security, cold weather and excitement ahead of Super Bowl Sunday

Security, cold weather and excitement ahead of Super Bowl SundayMore than 3,000 officers and agents are gathered in Minneapolis ahead of the big game in subzero temperatures. The reigning champion Patriots will take on the Eagles, with fans already pouring into the city.



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Dogs Left Outside In The Cold Have Died And Been Found ‘Frozen Solid’

Dogs Left Outside In The Cold Have Died And Been Found ‘Frozen Solid’The brutal cold that’s believed to be responsible for at least 11 human deaths this week is also taking a toll on animals — particularly pets left outside in the frigid weather.



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Eight newborn puppies found frozen to death in brutally cold weather

Eight newborn puppies found frozen to death in brutally cold weatherA litter of newborn puppies died from prolonged exposure to the frigid outdoor temperatures in Knox County, Illinois, just one day after Christmas, according to WQAD. The black lab mix’s owner had apparently been keeping her outside in below-freezing temperatures and didn’t even realize she was pregnant until she gave birth on Dec. 26. After noticing the litter of puppies, the dog’s owner called the Knox County Humane Society for assistance.



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