KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The Kansas City Police Department is making a big push to solve a 30-year-old murder.
They are hoping to get a DNA mugshot of the man who raped and killed 16-year-old Fawn Cox in her Kansas City bedroom.
Fawn’s murder has been the focus of a recent KCTV5 investigation.
The latest development could be the biggest break in her case.
What if you could see the face of her killer? Technology has advanced and now police are working to take the DNA left at the scene and create a DNA mugshot to get answers for Fawn.
John Cox, Fawn’s father, said DNA could change everything.
“Never dreamed that they’d be able to do it,” he said. “It was science fiction that anything like this can happen.”
Thirty years ago, police collected items at the crime scene. There’s DNA, but it didn’t mean much at the time.
“They didn’t trust it,” Cox said. “The police didn’t trust it.”
Things have changed.
KCTV5 News recently reported on Fawn Cox’s death and how it was never solved. That sparked new interest in the case. New tips have poured in to the family. A larger reward has been raised. The family has even offered to pay for DNA testing themselves.
The reason why is because you can now take DNA and create a DNA mugshot that reveals what a person generally looks like.
“To finally have a picture that’s as close as we can get, we haven’t had that all these years,” said Felisa Cox, Fawn’s sister. “We could only imagine.”
The mugshots have been so powerful. Some suspects see the composites and just turn themselves in.
Ryan Riggs, for example, saw his DNA mugshot and then confessed to sexual assault and murder.
“It’s fascinating,” said Sgt. Jake Becchina with the Kansas City Police Department. “It really is. It helps police get a better snapshot, so to speak, of who they are looking for. And, when they catch that person, it gives prosecutors beyond a reasonable doubt for a jury conviction.”
However, it’s expensive and it’s never been used in Kansas City until now. The department is working on a federal grant to pay for testing in this case so the family can use the money they raised for a larger reward.
Detectives said DNA will provide a mugshot, but they also hope to trace the killer’s family tree with public genetic databases. That’s how California police tracked down and finally made an arrest in the Golden State Killer cases.
“Doesn’t matter how old a case is,” Becchina said. “We never stop looking for killers. We never stop looking for a suspect. We will work every possible angle to work it. We will never stop looking for a murderer. We will get you.”
It will take time to develop the DNA mugshot. In the meantime, the family has paid for a billboard that will go up this summer reminding people there’s still a large reward in the 30-year-old murder mystery.
Felisa Cox says money talks.
The fundraiser is at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Misfit’s Bar & Grill in Blue Springs. There will be an auction and a raffle.
The family also established a GoFundMe account.