FBI Has "Credible" New Lead in D.B. Cooper Case

The FBI says they have a "credible" lead as to the identity of D.B. Cooper, the skyjacker who parachuted out of a plane with $200,000 in 1971 and was never seen again. INSIDE EDITION reports.

It's been a mystery for decades but now there is a stunning new lead in the hunt for D.B. Cooper, the legendary skyjacker who pulled off one of the most daring unsolved crimes in US history.

The FBI says it has a "credible" lead for the first time in 40 years and calls the new information "the most promising lead we have right now."

The Bureau says it received a tip that led them to someone who may have useful information about D.B. Cooper's real identity.  

The FBI crime lab in Quantico, Virginia, is now studying new fingerprint evidence and comparing it to partial fingerprints D.B. Cooper is believed to have left on board the plane he hijacked four decades ago.

D.B. Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient 727 jet in 1971 and demanded a $200,000 ransom.

A movie about the case, The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper, shows how he parachuted from the plane with the cash, never to be seen again.

An FBI evidence photo shows the partial fingerprint on an in-flight magazine he may have left in the seat in the back of the plane.

INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent spoke about the intriguing new development in the case with Geoffrey Gray, author of Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper, which goes on sale next week.  

"These new developments completely surprised me," Gray said.

"Is this the big break law enforcement has been looking for?" Trent asked him.

"It's a Hail Mary pass that was sent to the lab and they're hoping that something could come back that will be definitive."

D.B. Cooper parachuted into the rugged cascade mountains of the Pacific Northwest and simply vanished.  

Years later, $6,000 in $20 bills from the ransom money were found by a lake, and many believe he died in the jump.

But the legend has grown over the past 40 years and the skyjacker's real identity is one of the FBI's greatest unsolved mysteries.  

"The Cooper case itself is just when you think you can understand it, it has a way of just changing and befuddling," Gray said.

The D.B. Cooper hijacking is the only hijacking in American history to go unsolved.