Yakima investigators looking into cold cases

Yakima investigators looking into cold cases »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Yakima police are doing their best to warm up some cold cases: murders that remain unsolved. Two mysterious cases getting more attention date back to the 1980's.

Right now, Yakima investigators are waiting on DNA results for three murder cases that have gone cold. Technology allowed them to reopen these cases.

They’re unsolved crimes that family, friends and police want answers to. But, they're not easy to get.

"Cold cases are typically put lower on the list," said Yakima Police Department Forensics Lab Supervisor Kristen Drury.

Kristen Drury is trying to get answers with the Yakima Police Department. One cold case coming into focus again is a murder from the 1980's. Marion Thayer and his wife were sleeping when an intruder came in and attacked them. Marion died from injuries from the attack. No suspects were ever found.

Old evidence from the scene is now with the state crime lab to see if it contains DNA. Finding DNA that's not the victim's could point to the criminal.

"The technology's there, it's available, and why not answer some of those questions?" said Drury.

Another cold case involves Alexander Scherr. His family found him stabbed to death at home. Again, no suspects were ever found.

"DNA was not readily used or available at that time, and, since that's been developed and advanced, we are using that to process different items from that crime scene," said Drury.

Investigators also hope to develop new DNA leads in Sarah Bustos' case. Sarah was found dead in the Yakima River in the 1990's. DNA results that came back from the crime lab in her case eliminated all of the suspects police were considering.

Yakima investigators told KIMA evidence from Scherr and Thayer's cases were sent off to the crime lab last year. Police don't know when they'll get results. They do not get priority in the lab because there are no active suspects.