Super Sleuth Challenge Answer – New Forensics Beats Cold Case

Photo by gerard79

Photo by gerard79

Thanks for trying out the Super Sleuth Challenge. This week we reviewed a cold case that was solved 15 years after the original crime.

A Review of Our Case:

The murder took place in Minneapolis on Christmas Eve, 1998. The young couple was killed in their apartment. Drugs and cash were found at the scene, but no motive was forthcoming.

Now the Police have a suspect who they believe is guilty of the crime. Preston is serving time in California for a violent home invasion for another 20+ years.

Police Officials are still trying to determine motive and place him at the scene of the crime, but since he has several years left to serve in California they aren’t in a hurry.

Turning Point In The Case:

Although cold cases are often reevaluated in light of new forensic methodology, this case specifically gained new traction in 2007 when Sgt. Chris Karakostas started working it.

Trying the new forensic processes available that were not used at the time of the murders allowed them to solve the case.

How was the suspect identified?

A. A single drop of blood found at the scene did not match the victims’. With new DNA tests, law enforcement officials were able to match the DNA to the criminal database, identifying the killer.

B. Fingerprint analysis on the skin of the victim allowed law enforcement officials to match the fingerprints to the criminal database, identifying the killer.

C. Handwriting analysis on a napkin left at the scene allowed law enforcement officials to match the handwriting to a sample of the original suspects in the case.

D. Striations on the bullets used in the crime allowed law enforcement officials to link the weapon to that used in another crime where the criminal was convicted.

E. The killer’s MO of both crimes was identical, even down to the business card left at the scene, allowing officials to match the suspect to the crime.

To read more about this cold case click here or here.

What cold case solution you’ve read about in the past surprised you the most?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

6 thoughts on “Super Sleuth Challenge Answer – New Forensics Beats Cold Case

  1. dtopliff says:

    Gasp, sorry it was Minneapolis. Was any motive revealed? I think miniscule rug fibers or similar amaze me, and there are probably many more identifiers out there I don’t know about.

    • Michelle Lim says:

      The police are still looking for motive and a way to place the suspect at the scene through witnesses. They still aren’t sure why he was even there. They figure there is time though, since he is already serving a long sentence.

  2. Kristen O'Leary says:

    So I was going to say it was hands down “A”, but then noticed I am a little late & you’d already answered it! Also, just wanted to tell you I’m listening to the audio of Submerged by Dani Pettri – it is really good! 🙂

  3. Johne420 says:

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