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A Soldier Was Killed in '87. Now, an Arrest in Her Murder

Colorado's Michael Whyte charged in death of 20-year-old Darlene Krashoc
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 15, 2019 5:30 AM CDT
This undated photo shows Michael Whyte, 58, of Thornton, Colo., arrested Thursday on suspicion of first-degree murder.   (Colorado Springs Police Department via AP)

(Newser) – A suburban Denver man has been arrested in the unsolved slaying of a soldier in Colorado 32 years ago after DNA evidence was used to create an image of what a suspect might look like, authorities said Friday. Civilian and Army investigators arrested Michael Whyte of Thornton in the 1987 strangulation death of Darlene Krashoc, 20, a soldier stationed at Fort Carson outside Colorado Springs. Whyte, 58, was arrested at his home Thursday on suspicion of first-degree murder, per the AP. Krashoc's body was found behind a Colorado Springs restaurant on March 17, 1987. Investigators said she'd gone to a nightclub the previous evening with other soldiers from her unit, a maintenance company. She was last seen leaving the club between midnight and 1am, and police found her body during a routine patrol.

Investigators said they believe her body had been moved to a spot behind the restaurant, but they didn't say where she was killed. Authorities said they reopened the investigation twice before, in 2004 and 2011, and found male DNA on several pieces of evidence. The Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory reanalyzed the DNA in 2016, and it was sent to a private company that specializes in using DNA to create images of what someone might look like. The company made two composites, one showing the person at about age 25 and another at about 50 to 55. Police said the process, called phenotyping, uses DNA to predict traits such as ancestry, hair and eye color, and face shape. Authorities made at least one of the pictures public in 2017, but they haven't said if that generated a tip that led to Whyte's arrest—only that DNA led them to him. The images haven't been made public. (Read more cold cases stories.)

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