DNA Brings Justice for a Soldier’s Death at Fort Carson, Colorado - Carlos GaminoBy Carlos Gamino

U.S. Army investigators and civilian investigators arrested a 58-year-old man in connection with the death of a soldier that occurred in 1987 – and they found him because of his DNA.

The victim, Darlene Krashoc, was 20 at the time she was murdered, was found strangled to death behind a Colorado Springs restaurant. Krashoc was stationed at nearby Fort Carson and had been at a nightclub with other soldiers from her unit prior to the murder. After she left the club between midnight and 1 a.m., authorities allege, Michael Whyte murdered her and left her behind the restaurant.

Police linked Whyte to Krashoc’s death through genetic testing – the kind people are now using to determine ethnicity, connect with long-lost cousins, and find adoptees.

They’d investigated the death for years, but were never able to find a suspect that panned out – but they reopened the case in 2004, 2011 and again in 2017 for DNA testing. The Army turned over the man’s DNA profile to the Colorado Springs police. Based on the phenotype, investigators were able to put together composite images of what the man looked like – and they used age-progression technology to create images of what he was likely to look like now – but nothing panned out.

Earlier this year, though, investigators started to looking for information on genetic genealogy sites.

That’s when they followed the trail directly to Whyte. Police arrested him in mid-May and he’s awaiting trial now.

“Words cannot convey the satisfaction we are feeling from this arrest,” said Major General David Glaser, the Provost Marshal General of the Army and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.

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Carlos Gamino