The value of preserving DNA evidence from a 1956 double homicide led to a successful outcome. This is an example of the importance of storing DNA evidence as well as the use of genetic genealogy.
The double homicide involved the deaths of 16-year-old Patricia Kalitzke and 18-year-old Duane Bogle in Great Falls, Montana. The investigators of the Sheriff's Office in Cascade County determined and concluded that a man from Oregon County, Missouri named Kenneth Gould was guilty of the killings.
After decades, in 2012, the case was taken over by Detective Sgt. Jon Kadner. For years, this case was under investigation but no arrests were made.
Bogle's body was found near his car on January 3, 1956, by boys who were hiking. Kalitzke's body was found by a county road worker on the following day. They had both been shot in the head. Sadly, Kalitzke was still in high school and Bogle was an airman stationed at an Air Force Base in Waco, Texas.
In 2001, the detective working on the case took a slide of a vaginal swab that was collected from Kalitzke's body and sent it out for analysis at the MontanaState Crime Lab. According to the lab, the sperm cell found did not belong to Bogle.
In 2018, with forensic genealogy playing a role in identifying Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. as the Golden State Killer, this method was deployed in locating other suspects involved with cold cases.
In 2019, Bode Technology performed more DNA testing on the evidence found on Kalitzke’s body. Once it was uploaded to voluntary genealogical databases, a possible family connection was discovered which led case investigators to Gould in Missouri.
Detective Sgt. Kadner reached out to Gould’s children asking for DNA samples in order to confirm a match. He had to inform them that their dad was a suspect in this case.
At the time Kalitzke was alive,
"Gould’s family home at the time of the homicides was a little over a mile (1.6 kilometers) from where Kalitzke lived. He was known to ride horses through the area, officials said."
Gould sold his property after the murders. His family lived in Geraldine and Hamilton, Montana before relocating to Missouri in 1967.
At the time of the murder investigation, Gould wasn't interviewed because there were no connections between him and the victims.
According to Kadner:
“You had two young, vibrant individuals that were well-liked among their peer group,” he said. “Investigators poured their heart and soul into this case. They leave a little bit of themselves, from what I’ve seen.”
The 65-year-old cold case is closed now due to forensic genealogy. It was concluded that Kenneth Gould who is now deceased was more than likely the one who committed the murders. It appears that so far, this is the oldest case to be solved with genetic genealogy.