1956 Killings of Montana Teens Becomes Oldest Cold Case Solved Using Forensic Genealogy

 The arrest of a man police say is the “Golden State Killer” has left many in California breathing a sigh of relief, but has also raised potential privacy concerns involving genealogy websites and DNA testing.

The case may be known as the oldest “cold case” in the country, officials said.

A 65-year-old cold case killings of a young couple found shot in the head in Montana has been solved using DNA and forensic genealogy, becoming what is thought to be the oldest cold case in the country to be solved using such methods, according to reports. 

Through the use of forensic genetical genealogy, investigators with the Cascade County Sheriff's Office determined that Patricia Kalitzke, 16, and Duane Bogle, 18, were most likely killed by Kenneth Gould of Oregon County, Missouri, who died in 2007, CBS affiliate KRTV reported.

On Jan. 2, 1956, Kalitzke, a junior at Great Falls High School, and Bogle, a Malmstrom airman, went to an area west of Great Falls near Wadsworth Park along the Sun River. Their bodies were found the next day by three kids who were hiking, officials said. Bogle was found next to his vehicle face down. Kalitzke’s body was found five miles away. Both had gunshot wounds to the head. Kalitzke had also been raped, KRTV reported.

Detective Sgt. Jon Kadner, who took over the case in 2012, led the cold case investigation. He said he was able to eliminate some of the rape suspects, including the notorious crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, who had been in the area and had been arrested for rape in 1951, KRTV reported. 

On Tuesday, Kadner said it was the oldest case he could find nationwide that has been solved using forensic genealogy, which searches commercial DNA databases to find familial matches to the DNA of a crime suspect, CBS News reported. 

For decades, police were not able to make an arrest and the case remained cold. In 2001, investigators picked up the case again, but it remained cold until 2018, when forensic genealogy tools became more prominent.

In 2019, detectives had Bode Technology perform some additional testing on evidence collected from Kalitzke’s body. Once it was uploaded to a voluntary genealogical database, it led investigators to Gould.

Gould's body had been cremated, KRTV reported. His children consented to submit DNA samples that resulted in a match.

Kadner said he was not sure how Gould’s kids would react to his request, but he found they were "great to work with," CBS reported. 

According to investigators, Gould lived a little over a mile from Kalitzke. He worked corralling horses in the area. After the murders, he moved and lived in two other communities in Montana before moving to Missouri in 1967.

Gould had no criminal history before or after the killings. He was never interviewed during the murder investigation and family members had no idea of any criminal behavior. Investigators did not find any connection between Gould and the young couple, CBS reported. 

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