Investigators Solve 1989 Murder With DNA Technology, Victim’s Cousin Revealed As Killer

Advanced DNA testing revealed that the rapist and murderer of a 16-year-old girl in Kansas City, Missouri in 1989 was her cousin, investigators said.

Fawn Cox was raped and strangled to death by her cousin Donald Cox Jr. in July 1989, advanced genetic genealogy techniques used by the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) showed, according to CBS affiliate KCTV News. Donald Cox Jr. died in 2006 from a drug overdose, according to NBC affiliate KSHB-TV.

“It’s a relief there’s closure,” Fawn Cox’s sister Felisa Cox said, according to KCTV. “The answers aren’t always what we were asking for, but there’s closure.”

Fawn Cox, who worked at a local amusement park in Kansas City, came home after a late shift on July 26, 1989, and immediately went to bed, KCTV reported. Her mom and sister found her unresponsive in her bed the next morning after they heard her alarm.

“I went over to shake her, ‘Come on! Get up!’ But she had been gone for a while,” Felisa Cox said, according to KCTV. (RELATED: MS-13 Member Allegedly Involved In Gruesome Murder Of 15-Year-Old Extradited From El Salvador)

While there were family members in the house at the time of the crime, Felisa Cox said they didn’t hear anything because of their loud air conditioner, KCTV reported. Their dog was agitated, but they ignored it since it was pregnant at the time.

“To pick that home and that window to come in undetected and leave undetected makes sense the suspect knew Fawn,” KCPD Sgt. Ben Caldwell said, according to KCTV.

Three teenagers had been charged following the crime, but no evidence was able to prove they were at the scene of the crime and the charges were dropped, according to The Kansas City Star.

For years, the Cox family had pushed for the KCPD to use advanced DNA testing in the investigation, even holding fundraisers to fund such testing, according to KCTV. However, the FBI recently decided to fund the advanced testing.

“It was our honor to notify her family of this news today, and we hope they might finally have some closure after decades of uncertainty and pain,” KCPD tweeted Monday.

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