7/24/2014

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Yakima police revisit 14-year-old unsolved river murder case

Yakima police revisit 14-year-old unsolved river murder case

YAKIMA, Wash.  --   To solve old murder cases, investigators often go back in time. There's now new hope for cases that have gone cold over time, specifically one that you wanted KIMA to look into.

"We can re-submit items within the case to have that new type of testing apply to them," said Yakima Police Department Forensics Lab Supervisor Kristen Drury.

You called about an old murder investigation from the 1990's; a woman found dead in the Yakima River.

KIMA dug deep into our archives for the story of Sara Bustos and found footage of the unusual crime scene.

Her body was discovered by a fisherman almost 14 years ago.

"There are some drag marks indicating she was dragged into the water but as far as being actually killed here, we really don't know yet," said Yakima Police Captain Jeff Schneider, in an interview with Action News from 1999.

Yakima police once thought they had Bustos' killer, but the lone suspect at the time was acquitted of her murder, and after that the case went cold.

Now, it's warming up again with DNA evidence.

"We don't know where it's going to take us, but we certainly do know that there was more testing that was able to be completed," Drury said.

Forensics Crime Lab supervisor Kristen Drury says there are dozens of cold cases at YPD.

The Bustos murder is one of several that have been reopened for more tests.

"It's important for the families to get closure and to have answers," said Drury. "I know for me, if it was my family member I would want answers and I would want closure."

Closure and justice are the goals.

The results of the DNA testing in Bustos case aren't back yet.

Those answers will dictate the next step in this case but that work gives cold cases like Bustos a chance to be solved.

No new suspects have been identified in Bustos' murder.

KIMA contacted her relatives but they did not want to appear on camera.

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