Pennsylvania State Police solve 34-year-old homicide using DNA from licked envelope

Troopers used genealogical testing to track down killer.

Updated: August 26, 2022 - 4:14pm

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Police in Pennsylvania this month announced the resolution of a more-than-three-decade-old homicide in that state, with authorities having tracked down the killer using a DNA sample and the increasingly popular method of "genetic genealogy." 

Pennsylvania State Police said at a press conference last week that they had identified Reading, Pa., resident Scott Grim as the killer of Anna Kane, the latter of whom was found murdered in the woods in the outskirts of that city in 1988.

Police managed to identify Grim—who died in 2018—using a DNA sample from a letter sent in 1990 to a local newspaper by a "concerned citizen." That letter contained details of the crime that the police had thus far not released, leading authorities to suspect the author was the killer. 

The crime went unsolved until this year, when police turned to genetic genealogy in order to identify likely family members of the suspect via the DNA sample. That route led them to make a positive ID with the deceased Grim. 

Police said they were still working to identify how, if at all, Grim knew Kane and why he killed her.

"There's a lot of questions that aren't going to be, unfortunately, answered," Trooper Dan Wilmer said during the conference, "just because he is deceased."