Genetic family tree helps police discover Pennsylvania lady’s killer 34 years after her loss of life

A 43-year-old lady, whose mom was discovered useless in Reading, Pennsylvania round three many years in the past, has lastly obtained some closure because the police have lastly been capable of hint the assassin—a person who died of pure causes 4 years in the past.

Tamika Reyes was 9 when her 26-year-old mom Anna Kane’s physique was present in a wooded space with a baling twine round her neck on October 23, 1988. During investigation, police had discovered that the lady was strangulated elsewhere and her physique was later dumped within the woods.

Soon after Kane’s loss of life, a neighborhood newspaper ran a front-page story searching for details about her loss of life. In February 1990, nearly 15 months after Kane’s loss of life, the paper acquired an nameless letter from a “concerned citizen,” who occurred to know such particulars that solely the killer would know, stated police.

But years glided by and police nonetheless couldn’t discover who Kane’s killer was, leaving Reyes and her two brothers and grandmother at nighttime for near 34 years.

Finally, reduction got here for Reyes not too long ago within the type of a name from a detective final week who knowledgeable that the Pennsylvania State Police used genetic family tree to determine the killer.

It discovered that the DNA pattern from the saliva of the particular person, who licked the envelope containing the letter addressed to the newspaper, matched with what was discovered on Kane’s clothes, stated legislation enforcement officers at a information convention final week.

However, Reyes’s reduction quickly gave strategy to disappointment after she learnt that her mom’s killer is one Scott Grim, who died on the age of 58 attributable to pure causes in 2018. What saddens her extra is the truth that her grandmother died earlier than studying the case has been solved.

How did investigators remedy the case after 34 years?

Investigators analyzed Kane’s clothes and located traces of an unknown man’s DNA. They later decided that it matched the DNA on the envelope from 1990, confirming investigators’ perception that the particular person behind the letter was the killer.

But whereas investigators had Grim’s DNA profile, there was nothing to determine him as a result of he had by no means been arrested for something that required his DNA to be put into the system, stated authorities.

Here’s the place genetic family tree got here to the rescue of the authorities.


Genetic family tree’s effectiveness in chilly circumstances will depend on the standard of DNA collected from the crime scene and whether or not it has degraded, stated state police trooper Daniel Womer at a information convention final week.

The detectives’ cautious preservation of DNA proof in 1988 offered a strong basis for investigators to look at with new expertise, stated Pennsylvania state police Sgt. Nathan Trate at a information convention final week.

“All of that stuff was … preserved the way it should be, because they knew probably somewhere down the line whatever they collected could be that little piece of evidence (to solve the case),” Trate stated.

What’s subsequent?

Investigators do not know a lot about Grim aside from he lived within the close by Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

They try to find out whether or not he knew Kane and have urged anybody who is aware of the character of their relationship to achieve out. So far, they’ve discovered no connections.

Kane was reportedly working as a prostitute on the time she was killed and should have been assembly a buyer, stated Womer including that police try to find out whether or not it was Grim.

The Pennsylvania State Police have declined to launch the 1990 letter to the newspaper or to elaborate on precisely what it stated.

“There was just intimate details about where she was disposed of, how her clothes were displayed, stuff like that,” Womer stated. “This led investigators to believe that whoever wrote the letter had committed the homicide.”

Now that investigators have recognized Grim’s DNA, police will evaluate different open chilly circumstances to see if he was concerned, Womer stated.

Old wounds but to heal

Talking about how Kane was, Reyes, who now lives in Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania, stated, “She was a firecracker — very outgoing, not afraid of something, very trustworthy, blunt and caring.”

Reyes said she’s still bothered by the image the media painted of her mother, who was unemployed at the time of her death.

“She was portrayed as this slain prostitute, like she deserved what occurred to her,” said Reyes “It was hurtful. She was greater than that, she was a sufferer… No one deserves what occurred to her.”

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