New technology, $10,000 reward aimed at finding Fort Carson soldier's killer from 1987

March 13, 2017 Updated: March 15, 2017 at 6:13 am
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A new reward comes from Army Criminal Investigation Command in a bid to find the killer of Fort Carson Spc. Darlene Krashoc.

Detectives are hoping a $10,000 reward and a computer-generated picture of a possible suspect based on DNA could crack open the 30-year-old cold-case murder of a Fort Carson soldier.

The reward comes from Army Criminal Investigation Command in a bid to find the killer of Fort Carson Spc. Darlene Krashoc. The soldier was found dead on St. Patrick's Day 1987 in a parking lot behind a Korean restaurant near the intersection of Academy and Astrozon boulevards.

The new pictures of a possible suspect come from a process called phenotyping, which uses crime scene DNA samples to predict what a suspect could look like.

Left, DNA composite prediction of suspect at 25 years; right, age progressed to 50-55. 

Colorado Springs police Lt. Howard Black said he's hoping the reward and the picture can jog memories.

"These cases never die," Black said.

Krashoc, a 20-year-old Maryland native, served at Fort Carson in the 73rd Maintenance Company.

Family members had last spoken to Krashoc a week before she was killed. The soldier told her mother she was upset and wanted to flee the Army, but wouldn't say what was behind her turmoil.

An autopsy determined that Krashoc had been strangled with a coat hanger and leather straps after being severely beaten, bitten, sexually assaulted. She may also have been thrown from a moving vehicle.

In 1996, Krashoc's family came to Colorado Springs and plastered car windshields around Fort Carson with a plea.

"I was only 20 years old. They took my dignity, my pride and my jacket. Then, without mercy, they took my life. If you know something and think it's insignificant, you're mistaken. It's probably the missing link."

In 2003, the Army sought to extract DNA from evidence found at the crime scene. Late last year, the service decided to use that DNA to build a clearer picture of a possible killer.

But using DNA to build a picture has its limits, the Army said in a news release.

"It is important to note that the composites are scientific approximations of appearance based on DNA, and are not likely to be exact replicas of appearance," Criminal Investigation Command said in a news release, "Environmental factors such as smoking, drinking, diet, and other non-environmental factors - e.g., facial hair, hairstyle, scars, etc. - cannot be predicted by DNA analysis."

But the DNA-based picture could still generate tips, Black said.

"Any opportunity that can move a homicide case forward, we'll take that opportunity," Black said.

Tipsters are asked to call Colorado Springs police at 444-7000. Anonymous tips can be given to Pikes Peak Area Crime Stoppers at 634-7867.

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