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“Cold Case” Investigators Find Success

Posted 10/9/2013 2:11 PM by MDGREGORY

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office “Cold Case” Unit continues to look into unsolved homicide investigations in Spokane County utilizing evolving DNA testing and additional technologies. The unit initially comprised of major crimes detectives has now been expanded to include 2 citizen volunteers, Verne King and Don Holmes, who scour over the old case files looking for new information or submitting evidence for new testing.

Mr. King volunteers his time after he retired from a 39 year law enforcement career, part of which he was assigned to investigate homicides. Mr. Holmes has over 14 years of volunteer service at several law enforcement agencies. With their assistance, the Cold Case Unit will continue to try and find the answers to these unsolved cases.

The formation of the unit occurred after Detective Dresback and Detective Johnston submitted DNA samples for testing from the 1990 unsolved homicide of Kathleen Brisbois and the 1992 homicide of Brian Cole.

With the test results coupled with additional investigative information, Detective Johnston linked the murder of Brian Cole to Patrick K. Gibson. Gibson was later convicted of the murder of Cole and was sentenced in August of last year to 41 years in prison.

Detective Dresback believes the Brisbois homicide is linked to the 2 unsolved Spokane Police Department homicide cases of Yolanda Sapp and Nickie Lowe. All three women were discovered in 1990 and were all shot with a small caliber handgun. Working with Spokane Police Department detectives, “Cold Case” investigators indentified a "person of interest" as 60-year-old Douglas R. Perry and now believe charges will be forthcoming.

Investigators are also working on the 1970 unsolved homicide of 10-year-old David Willoughby. They continue to investigate this homicide and the possibility it may be linked to other victims.

In the 1982 unsolved homicide of Janice M. Morefield, investigators identified a male suspect who is now deceased and the case has been closed. Even though this case was solved without an arrest, investigators hope it will bring some closure and much needed answers to Morefield’s family and friends.