Advances in DNA technology have helped crack some criminal cases that had gone unsolved for decades. One of these was the murder of teenager Fawn Cox, in Kansas City, Missouri. Sixteen-year-old Fawn Cox was found murdered on July 26, 1989. She had been raped and strangled. Her mom and sister found Fawn’s body. They went into her room after Fawn’s alarm clock kept ringing. Felisa Cox, Fawn’s sister, tried to wake her up. She said, “I went over to shake her, ‘Come on! Get up!’ But she had been gone for a while.”

How could the rape and murder take place when the mother and sister were both home at the time? Why didn’t they hear anything? That was something that puzzled police investigators. If it was a stranger who broke in, why didn’t the family dog start barking and alert the family? That seemed to narrow it down to someone who had been in the house before. The dog must have known the person. That’s why it didn’t bark. Family members noted that the pregnant dog seemed to be acting funny. That was the only thing that they thought was unusual. The police reasoned that the murderer must have also known where to find Fawn’s room. After he’d broken into the house undetected that’s how he was able to find her in what must have been a dark house. It was possible that the air conditioner units at the house made enough noise to cover up any sounds that might have come from Fawn’s bedroom. This noise also helped the intruder to leave undetected. The police couldn’t find the murderer. They advised the family not to lose hope. They had collected DNA evidence. Scientific advancements were being made all the time. That included DNA testing. It was in its infancy at the time. Eventually, it was hoped that the killer would be arrested. Fawn’s family needed to find out what happened that night in 1989 to Fawn. They had many questions that remained unanswered. They pushed for more research and the development of advanced DNA testing that would help solve the case. They wanted justice for Fawn.

The police finally were able to identify the murderer using advanced genetic genealogy testing. The FBI paid for the testing after the local police department found the testing to be too expensive. It turned out that the killer was Donald Cox, Jr. He was Fawn’s cousin. By the time the case was solved he had long ago died of a drug overdose. Felisa Cox was thankful the killer was finally found. She said, “It’s a relief; there’s closure. The answers aren’t always what we were asking for, but there’s closure.” This type of advanced testing recently helped solve the Golden State Killer case. It had also gone unsolved for decades.