Home Posts DNA And Forensic Genealogy Help Solve A 65-Year-Old Montana Teen Homicide
DNA And Forensic Genealogy Help Solve A 65-Year-Old Montana Teen Homicide

DNA And Forensic Genealogy Help Solve A 65-Year-Old Montana Teen Homicide

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — DNA evidence preserved after a 1956 double homicide, combined with the use of forensic genealogy, has assisted a Montana sheriff's office in closing the books on the 65-year-old cold case, officials said.

According to the Great Falls Tribune, investigators with the Cascade County Sheriff's Office concluded Kenneth Gould, who died in Oregon County, Missouri, in 2007, killed Patricia Kalitzke, 16, and Duane Bogle, 18, who were both shot in the head.

Detective Sgt. Jon Kadner, who took over the case in 2012, said Tuesday that it was the oldest case he could find nationwide that had been solved using forensic genealogy, which searches commercial DNA databases for familial matches to a crime suspect's DNA.

On Jan. 3, 1956, three boys hiking along the Sun River near Wadsworth Park northwest of Great Falls discovered Bogle dead near his car, while a county road worker discovered Kalitzke's body north of Great Falls the next day.

Bogle was an airman at Malmstrom Air Force Base from Waco, Texas, and Kalitzke was a junior at Great Falls High School.

Officers spent years investigating but were unable to make an arrest.

The case remained unsolved for decades until 2001, when then-Detective Phil Matteson sent a slide of a vaginal swab collected from Kalitzke's body to the Montana State Crime Lab for analysis, which discovered a sperm cell that did not belong to Bogle, according to officers.

In the years since, law enforcement has compared the DNA sample to that of about 35 other men, including gangster James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger Jr., and all have been ruled out as suspects.

When Matteson retired, he said he didn't think the case would be solved because "a lot of different people had a turn at this, and we just weren't able to take it to conclusion."

In 2018, however, forensic genealogy, which was previously used to assist adoptees in locating biological family members, was used to identify Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. as the Golden State Killer, leading to the identification of dozens of suspects in cold cases.

Cascade County detectives had Bode Technology perform additional DNA testing on the evidence found on Kalitzke's body in 2019, and the results were uploaded to voluntary genealogical databases, where they discovered a possible family connection, leading investigators to Gould.

To confirm the match, Kadner needed to contact Gould's children and request DNA samples.

“I wasn’t sure how they’d react when I approached them and said, ‘Hey, your father’s a suspect in this case,’ but they were great to work with,” Kadner said.

Gould's family home was a little more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) from Kalitzke's home at the time of the homicides, and he was known to ride horses in the area, according to officials.

Gould sold his property near Tracy after the murders, and his family lived in Geraldine and Hamilton, Montana, before moving to Missouri in 1967, never to return.

Investigators found no links between Gould and the victims, despite the fact that he had no known criminal history.

Because of the circumstances, officers continued to investigate the case, according to Kadner.

“You had two young, vibrant individuals who were well-liked among their peer group,” he said, adding, “Investigators poured their heart and soul into this case, and from what I've seen, they leave a little bit of themselves.”

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