The Killing of Fawn Cox Solved After 31 Years Solved Using DNA Technology, Police Say

Cold Case
Kansas City Police Dept.

A decades-old cold case has been solved with the latest DNA technology, the Kansas City Police Department said. Fawn Cox, 16, was raped and strangled in her own bed in Kansas City, Missouri in July 1989. Police said the question of who killed the teen had gone unanswered, until now.

Kansas City Police Department said it is the first murder solved using advanced genetic genealogy techniques, which in recent years has been able to solve the crimes like that of Golden State Killer, and other cold cases.

Authorities say the advanced DNA testing revealed the rapist and killer was Fawn's cousin, Donald Cox Jr. He died years ago from an overdose.

"It's a relief; there's closure," Felicia Cox, Fawn's sister, told KCTV. "The answers aren't always what we were asking for, but there's closure."

The 16-year-old victim’s body was found by her mother and sister when her bedroom alarm went off but she didn't turn it off.

"I went over to shake her, 'Come on! Get up!' But she had been gone for a while," Felicia Cox told KCTV.

Cops suspected that the suspect had known the house very well and came in through a bedroom window. No one heard anything. Fawn's family said that the loud air conditioner must have muffled the sound.

"To pick that home and that window to come in undetected and leave undetected makes sense, since the suspect knew Fawn," KCPD Sgt. Ben Caldwell said.

Over the years, the family never gave up in searching for Fawn’s killer and the break in the case came with the advancements in DNA. Police said answers came in just a matter of weeks once they did the advanced genetic genealogy testing. That testing was too expensive for the KCPD, so it was financed by the FBI.


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