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Home / US / Cracked Cold Case gives hope to others in East Iowa

Cracked Cold Case gives hope to others in East Iowa



CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Following the arrest of Jerry Burns on Wednesday for the 39-year-old murder of Michelle Martinko, other law enforcement agencies in the area were hoping to use the investigative techniques applied by police officers of the Cedar Rapids complete your own cold cases.

Novak's hands were handcuffed behind his back, beaten and shot with hammers, golf clubs.

Martinko was an 1

8-year-old teenager of Cedar Rapids stabbed in his family's car former Westdale Shopping Center, December 1979.

Investigators of the Cold Cases Division, a group of retired and active officials, say they could have committed the murder after analyzing blood found on the scene. DNA gene research research narrowed down the DNA profile to a specific pool of suspects and then compared it to Burns, allegedly leaving little room for error.

"Less than one and 100 billion independent people have this profile," said Chief of Police Wayne Jerman. "I think it shows once more that we have never given up."

Closing the case using genetic engineering has caused other authorities to wonder if they could do the same.

"We learn a lot from each other," said Major Chad Colston of the Sheriff's Office in Linn. "We always have contact with local law enforcement agencies and other law enforcement agencies."

About 35 years ago, Colston helped monitor a cold case in Linn County, the murder of Ron Novak. The 24-year-old was tied up in December 1983 in his country home, beaten and shot.

Like Martinko, many years later at the crime scene Novak detectives found another person's blood. Colston has recently teamed up with the local police, hoping that the DNA evidence from the murder of & # 39; 83 can also be compared to genealogical data to find a match.

"It's great to see that the technology is so advanced that we can track down someone 39 years ago," Colston said.

Anyone who has information about the murder of Novak will be asked to contact the Linn County Sheriff's Office or Crime Stoppers if they wish to remain anonymous.


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