Great Falls, Mont. (AP) — DNA evidence preserved after the 1956 double murder and the use of forensic genealogy has helped the Montana sheriff’s office close the books on the 65-year-old cold case, officials said.
Cascade County Sheriff’s Office investigators concluded that Kenneth Gould — who died in 2007 in Oregon County, Missouri — more than likely killed 16-year-old Patricia Kalitzke and 18-year-old Duane Bogle, Great Falls Tribune reports. Both were shot in the head.
Detective Sergeant. John Kadner, who handled the case in 2012, said Tuesday that it was the oldest case found nationwide that has been solved using forensic genealogy, a commercial DNA database to find family matches to a crime suspect’s DNA. searches.
On January 3, 1956, Bogle was found dead near his car by three boys hiking along the Sun River near Wadsworth Park, northwest of Great Falls. A day later, a county road worker found Kalitzke’s body north of Great Falls.
Kalitzke was a junior at Great Falls High School, and Bogle was an airman at Malmstrom Air Force Base from Waco, Texas.
Officers investigated for years, but they could not make an arrest.
Cases remained cold for decades until 2001, when then-Detective Phil Mattson sent slides of vaginal swabs collected from Kalitzke’s body to the Montana State Crime Lab for analysis. Officials said the lab found a sperm cell that did not belong to Bogle.
In later years, law enforcement compared the DNA samples to about 35 other men, including gangster James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger Jr. All of them were dismissed as suspects.
When Mattson retired, he said he did not believe the matter would be settled. “Many different people had their turn on this, and we haven’t been able to take it to a conclusion,” he said.
However, in 2018, forensic genealogy, which was used to help adoptees find biological family members, was used to identify Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. as the Golden State Killer. Dozens of suspects have been identified in cases of cold in a new way.
In 2019, Cascade County detectives conducted additional DNA testing of Bode Technology on evidence found on Kalitzke’s body. It was uploaded to a voluntary genealogy database, where they searched for possible family connections – Gold to the principal investigators.
Kadner had to reach out to Gould’s children and ask for DNA samples to verify the match.
“I wasn’t sure how he was going to react when I came up to him saying, ‘Hey your dad is a suspect in this case,’ but it was great working with him,” Kadner said.
At the time of the murders, Gould’s family home was a little over a mile (1.6 km) from where Kalitzke lived. Officials said he was known to ride horses in the area.
After the murders, Gould sold his property near the town of Tracy. His family lived in the Montana communities of Geraldine and Hamilton before moving to Missouri in 1967. They did not return to Montana.
Gould had no known criminal history and was not interviewed during the murder investigation. Investigators found no connection between Gould and the victims.
Kadner said the circumstances caused officials to continue working on the case.
“You had two young, vibrant individuals who were well-liked among their peer group,” he said. “The investigators put their heart and soul into this case. From what I’ve seen, they leave a little of their own.”