She died in 1991. DNA under fingernails helped identify killer after over 30 years
A 30-year-old cold case in the United States has been solved now as the investigating authorities found a DNA match.
In a Facebook post shared on Monday (July 31), the Seaside Fire & Police said that a suspect in the 1991 murder of a 34-year-old woman is dead.
The case is of the brutal death of Vicki Johnson, whose body was found back in January 1991 by investigators in a park on Darwin Street and H Place in Seaside. At that time, police said she was strangled and that her body was charred.
Johnson was killed on January 3 in Seaside and her body was found near a playground in the city's Sabado Park neighbourhood. The case was the reason for that particular community to be labelled as unsafe.
Authorities said, "Ms Johnson's death shocked the Seaside community due to the details of the brutality. For decades, the case remained cold and left Seaside with a reputation of a violent and unsafe community."
Seaside Fire and Police said Johnson's case was "one of many" reopened by the Monterey County District Attorney's Office when the cold case task force was launched.
The authorities said they identified a suspect in connection with the murder after submitting additional evidence to the California Department of Justice for DNA testing.
This resulted in the identification of the murder suspect, Frank Lewis McClure, who passed away in 2021 at the age of 77. The authorities said that the relationship between them is not known.
The official statement mentioned that evidence clearly demonstrates "Johnson put up an incredible physical battle against McClure and fought until the last moments of her life".
"McClure left significant DNA underneath Ms Johnson’s fingernails, which could only be a result of Ms Johnson fighting vigorously for her life. The motive for her murder is still unclear. We do know McClure had a history of violence before his passing," the statement added.