KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The Kansas City Police Department is teaming up with KCTV5’s investigative unit to reveal new leads in old cases.
“At this point what do I have to lose? Yeah, I’m willing to open the vault and show evidence. Maybe someone sees this and it triggers a memory, a thought or guilt,” Sgt. Ben Caldwell said.
Caldwell says the case of Fawn Cox is one cold case that has promising leads, but police need more help.
On July 26, 1989, 16-year-old Fawn Cox was murdered in her bedroom. She was raped and strangled.
Her mother and little sister found her when they heard her alarm, but Fawn never turned it off.
“I went over to shake her, ‘Come on! Get up!’ But she had been gone for a while,” Fawn’s sister, Felisa Cox, remembers.
“They lost their daughter. It’s not something you come back from. Closure doesn’t exist. You learn to deal with it. You grieve with it,” Caldwell said.
Fawn Cox had worked at Worlds of Fun until 11 p.m. and then came home and went straight to bed knowing she had to work the next day.
Felisa Cox says no one in the family heard anything that night because air conditioner units were running. But Felisa Cox remembers the family dog being agitated. That was brushed off because the dog was pregnant.
“To pick that home and that window to come in undetected and leave undetected makes sense the suspect knew Fawn,” Caldwell said.
Police and family members say there were no loud screams and little struggle before the murder took place.
Caldwell believes the attacker or attackers snuck in through the window that led up to the second floor where Fawn Cox and her sisters shared a bedroom.
On the night the murder, Fawn Cox slept upstairs alone.
Leads in the case
Kansas City police have carefully preserved evidence in this case. Every ten years, they retest evidence to see if technology advances can provide new clues.
Items related to the Fawn Cox case were shown to KCTV5 then taken back to the lab for additional testing. Police also released crime scene photos and sketches taken by detectives.
Police are especially interested in an old military style hat that may have been accidentally left by the killer.
“We didn’t have a record that she had a hat similar to this. It could have been introduced by the suspects,” Caldwell said.
Police have been able to build a DNA profile of a suspect. That profile has been entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) maintained by the FBI. But so far, there hasn’t been a match.
Police have made arrests in Fawn’ Coxs death when a witness stepped forward with information that matched what police knew about the crime scene. But that witness recanted and then police didn’t have enough evidence to press charges.
“Every time we think we are close something doesn’t match up,” Felisa Cox said.
Felisa Cox admits her family is frustrated knowing the case has so many promising leads but the killer remains free.
“Awful. There’s no words to explain it. No closure. Someone out there is living a normal life that she never got to grow up that these people are doing. I think about it everyday,” Felisa Cox said.
KCPD is asking anyone with information to call the tips hotline or email police directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.