Man convicted decades after murder of Fort Carson soldier Darlene Krashoc

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – More than three decades after a Fort Carson soldier was found strangled to death, justice is served.

On Thursday, a jury found a man guilty of murder for the CPS murder. Darlene Krashoc in 1987. Sentencing is scheduled for Friday while he faces life imprisonment.

Arrest documents obtained by 11 News detail how authorities tracked down the suspected killer. Police found DNA evidence on the victim’s body, but it took years to identify a suspect. The arrest documents explain how authorities linked distant family members through a DNA ancestry organization to identify the suspect.

After identifying the suspect, authorities tracked him down to his home and followed him to work. They watched him drink from a fast food cup, then left him at the restaurant. Arrest documents say detectives obtained the cut for DNA testing, which contributed to the arrest.

Springs Police announced the arrest of Michael Whyte, 58, in June 2019 for the murder of Darlene Krashoc. Krashoc, 20 at the time, was found dead behind the Korean club restaurant on March 17, 1987. Krashoc was an active duty soldier stationed at Fort Carson, assigned to the 73rd Maintenance Company. Police said she had gone out with members of her unit to a local club called Shuffles the day before. She was last seen leaving the club between midnight and 1 a.m.

Authorities say Krashoc was strangled to death and his body was likely moved and placed in the Korean Club restaurant. After hundreds of interviews, the case followed.

“In 2016, special agents from the US Army Criminal Investigations Command (CID), along with the Colorado Springs Police Department, submitted evidence to the US Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory for testing. Additional DNA as part of a collective effort to identify other potential leads. the tests included a reanalysis of items previously submitted for Y-STR and an assessment for phenotyping, ”Colorado Springs Police wrote in a press release.

Police said DNA allowed experts to refine the suspect’s predictive characteristics, including eye color, hair, skin, freckles and facial shape. From there, two composite photos were created showing what the suspect could look like at 25 and between 50 and 55. In March 2017,

A break in the matter came two years later thanks to a pair of popular ancestry sites, 23 and Me and Forensic scientists found people in Wisconsin and Texas who had DNA similar to samples found at the scene and were able to trace their genealogy to a distant cousin: Whyte. Investigators learned in 1987 that Whyte had lived just 3 miles from the scene of the murder. Whye’s photos also matched the composite sketch.

Whyte was arrested in Thornton.

“Words cannot express the satisfaction we feel at this arrest,” said Major General David Glaser, Army Provost General and Commanding General of the US Army Criminal Investigations Command. “I am extremely proud of our special agents on this case led by Special Agent Jessica Veltri. They worked tirelessly and side-by-side with the Colorado Springs Police Department and the low-profile professionals in our US Army Criminal Investigation Lab on this investigation. We sincerely hope that today’s announcement will bring some comfort to family and friends of SPC. Darlène Krashoc. “

“There is much to be proud of today,” said Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski. “The work done by these detectives has been nothing short of exceptional. Since 1987, CSPD Cold Case detectives, violent crime detectives and US Army CID investigators have worked tirelessly to bring this investigation to fruition. Over the past 32 years, they have never lost sight of what was most important: finding answers for Ms. Krashoc’s family. We hope this arrest will provide those answers and some comfort. “

The CSPD bestowed a special distinction on Homicide Detectives Cold Case, Joe Somosky, Jim Isham and Sgt. Korey Dabb, who has solved over 100 cold cases dating back almost 80 years.

“Their diligence and hard work on behalf of the victims they serve is exemplified in this investigation and the many other investigations they are actively pursuing,” the police department said in the press release.

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