A father came home from vacation in 1998 and found his 19-year-old daughter dead, but a suspect was never identified, authorities in Washington said.
DNA testing helped identify the suspect 24 years after Jennifer Brinkman was killed, the Marysville Police Department said in a news release.
Brinkman stayed behind at her family’s home when her father went on vacation to California, police said. When he returned, Brinkman was found dead, police said.
She had been struck with an ax to her neck, and the ax was left at the home, police said.
Investigators didn’t immediately find a suspect after her death. But they said it was possible Brinkman had met someone through telephone dating and chatlines.
Police also said she had spent a lot of time walking near her Marysville home.
“She was extremely friendly and would easily strike up a conversation with strangers,” police said.
On Monday, Nov. 28, a 52-year-old man from Renton was arrested. He faces a first degree murder charge in the death of Brinkman, police said.
DNA technology, including genetic genealogy, ultimately helped identify the suspect in her death after the case went cold for over two decades. Police did not publicly disclose the suspect’s name.
The man has been living and working in the east Puget Sound area.
Marysville is about 65 miles north of Tacoma.