Ray Whitson Jr. Is the Dead Suspect in 43-Year-Old Cold Case

Ray Whitson Jr. Is the Dead Suspect in 43-Year-Old Cold Case

Cynthia Frayer and Kirk Wiseman ended up located dead in the woods in close proximity


Cynthia Frayer and Kirk Wiseman ended up located dead in the woods in close proximity to a lake in Oregon way back again in 1978. Now, more than 43 yrs later on, police say the extensive-puzzling double murder cold circumstance is closed.

“I would enjoy to say it is just yet another circumstance, but it is not,” Klamath County Sheriff’s Business Detective Dan Towery reported during a press conference final month when the investigation was suspended. “I am just fortunate adequate to be the very last 1 in the chair to just take it throughout the objective line.”

In accordance to Medford, Ore. CBS affiliate KTVL, right after passing by way of the hands of a number of sheriffs and detectives, the case is now solved.

The scenario was very first investigated by eventual-sheriff Carl Burkhart, who was a deputy at the time of the slayings. His first attempts showed that the 17-yr-outdated Frayer and 19-year-aged Wiseman experienced been shot many moments with a compact-caliber gun. Also, the soon-to-be-sheriff found, Frayer had been sexually assaulted.

Burkhart served as sheriff for 12 a long time right after the murders.

Finally the Frayer-Wiseman murders created their way to KCSO Detective Nick Kennedy, and though some development was created, the responses were still elusive. Kennedy retired in 2018. Then the case file was briefly assigned to Detective Geneva Lewis, who sent articles of Frayer’s outfits to the Oregon Point out Law enforcement Criminal offense Lab in Bend for DNA investigation, in accordance to the Klamath Falls, Ore. Herald and Information.

In 2019, the case was handed as soon as-additional, lastly, on to Towery’s desk.

“Early Spring 2019, I got a get in touch with from Devon Mast at the Bend Criminal offense Lab who was the forensic scientist assigned to the case, he has labored with Detective Kennedy and he has submitted the Frayer’s garments,” Towery advised KTVL earlier this week. “Fast forward to 2019, I bought a get in touch with stating that (Mast) identified DNA from the victim’s clothes.”

The crime lab professional had even much better information: that DNA had yielded a strike, and that strike was their probable suspect. A lot more testing ensued.

“Somewhere all over the close of May perhaps, initially of June I get an e mail from Ryan Chambers who’s the head of the DNA division in Portland,” Towery continued. “He verified in his lab report that we have an not known male suspect that has been entered into the national CODIS.”

An all-but fixture of latest chilly scenario protection in the news media is the FBI’s Mixed DNA Index Technique, or CODIS, which matches unknown DNA profiles with those of identified offenders. Frequently legislation enforcement brokers function with genealogists to company up their personal effects. That merged procedure proved integral in the Frayer-Wiseman situation.

“In the meantime that is when I remembered the Tv set displays and the documentaries about Parabon,” Towery went on — referring to a personal company that specializes in DNA phenotyping companies for legislation enforcement organizations in purchase to assist solve cold cases.

The detective then achieved out to Klamath County District Lawyer Eve Costello to indicator off on the use of cash for Parabon’s companies.

“It’s well worth it, it is a human everyday living, it is a household struggling,” Costello advised KTVL.

Initially came the phenotype success — descriptions of the suspected killer’s nationality, ancestry, and possible physical qualities. The circumstance remaining so outdated, nevertheless, no suspects matched people attributes.

“Then we proceeded to the up coming phase which is the genealogy portion,” Towery spelled out to KTVL. “And that remaining report came back again determining Ray Whitson Jr.

The suspect died in 1996 and thus will not be prosecuted.

But, authorities say, they’re happy to give some closure to the victims’ family members.

“There’s a letter from Cynthia to her mother and father a couple of times prior, it was never mailed, it talked about what they ended up doing in Washington, talked about their hopes and goals, and never ever acquired mailed,” Towery extra, all over again to the television station. “I am going to give it to her mom.”

Previous Klamath Falls police chief Dan Tofell remembers the sad and chilly day when he was dispatched, as a younger deputy, to the bodies learned by a human being slicing firewood on Nov. 17, 1978.

“It was a really ugly scene,” Tofell explained previous thirty day period, in accordance to the Herald and Information. “It’s not day-to-day you locate two younger folks killed in the way they were . . . I continue to bear in mind it vividly. I can even now image it. You could explain to that whoever did it didn’t have substantially respect for human existence, the way the bodies have been disposed. It seemed like it was a pretty callous murder.”

[images via handouts from the Klamath County Sheriff’s Office]

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