6 Cold Cases Solved in 2022

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Several cold cases were solved in 2022 through advancements in DNA technology and forensic genetic genealogy.

These cases had remained unresolved for several years, but with the help of new techniques and evidence, investigators were able to bring closure to the victims’ families and communities.

Here is a list of six cold cases that were solved in 2022.

Anna Kane

Solved in 2022 after 34 years.

Anna Jean Kane, a 26-year-old woman, was found strangled and beaten to death on the Ontelaunee Trail in Perry Township, Pennsylvania, in October 1988. The case remained unsolved for more than three decades.

That was until 2022 when the Pennsylvania State Police used new DNA technology to link a man named Scott Grim to the crime.

Scott died in 2018 when he was 58, of natural causes, robbing Anna’s family of justice. However, her family could finally get some closure on the brutal murder.

Marise Chiverella

Solved in 2022 after 58 years.

Marise Chiverella

The body of a 9-year-old girl, Marise Chiverella, was found at a dumping site in Hazleton, PA on March 18, 1964. Despite a thorough investigation, her killer was never identified.

However, in February 2022, 20-year-old Eric Schubert, who had been helping police solve cold cases, identified James Forte, a local bartender who died in 1980, as the murderer using DNA profiles.

The body of Forte was exhumed, and the DNA evidence verified that he was the killer.

Brittanee Drexel

Solved in 2022 after 13 years.

Brittanee Drexel cold case
Brittanee Drexel (publicly released awareness photo)

The lifeless body of an individual who was later identified as Brittanee Drexel was discovered on May 11, 2022, in South Carolina.

Drexel, who had not informed her parents about leaving their home in Chili, NY, disappeared while on vacation with friends in Myrtle Beach in 2009. Footage from a surveillance camera revealed that Drexel left her friend’s hotel that evening and did not return to her own.

The victim’s DNA and dental records confirmed her identity, and Raymond Moody, a 62-year-old individual who had been under suspicion since 2012, was arrested in connection with her kidnapping and murder.

According to authorities, Drexel’s remains were buried the day after she was abducted on April 26, 2009. The cause of death was determined to be strangulation by the coroner.

Anita Knutson

Solved in 2022 after 15 years.

Anita Knutson cold case solved in 2022
Anita Knutson (Police campaign photo. Fair use)

Anita was a student at Minot State University when her father and maintenance workers discovered her body in her apartment in 2007 after she hadn’t responded to calls from her family.

She had been dead for over a day and was found stabbed to death with a pocketknife. The only thing taken from the apartment was the screen from her bedroom window, which investigators believed was cut after the murder to create a false entry point.

Her then 18-year-old roommate, Nichole Rice, was one of the few people with keys to the apartment and fell under suspicion.

Rice had told others in their circle that Anita was afraid of her, and she had allegedly told Anita she would “get her out of this house.”

Rice had an alibi for the weekend of the murder but was arrested 15 years later, in March 2022, after police obtained new information about a party where Rice had allegedly confessed to the murder while intoxicated.

Sharon Lee Gallegos: Little Miss Nobody

Solved in 2022 after 62 years.

Sharon Lee Gallegos: Little Miss Nobody
Sketch of “Little Miss Nobody.” (Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office)

In 1960, the remains of a girl were discovered in the desert outside Congress, AZ, and she was known as “Little Miss Nobody.”

In March 2022, authorities identified her as Sharon Lee Gallegos, a four-year-old girl who was abducted while playing with cousins in her grandmother’s backyard on July 21, 1960, in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Investigators are now trying to identify the individuals who abducted her. Gallegos’ family had claimed that a man and woman were stalking her before the abduction.

Thanks to crowdfunding through DNASolves, DNA testing was possible, giving Gallegos her name back after six decades. Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before the entire case is solved!

Lee Rotatori

Solved in 2022 after 40 years.

Lee Rotatori cold case solved in 2022
Lee Rotatori’s graduation photo. (Council Bluffs Police)

Lee was a 32-year-old nurse who was murdered in her Iowa hotel room. Her body was discovered on June 25, 1982, after she failed to show up for work. She had been fatally stabbed.

In 2022, DNA testing identified Thomas O. Freeman as the killer, who had lived in Illinois and was responsible for the crime. Freeman’s own daughter provided the DNA sample.

Interestingly, Freeman himself was murdered just weeks after killing Rotatori. His body was found buried in a shallow grave in Cobden, Illinois, and investigators are now exploring the possibility that the two murders were connected.

Even decades after a crime has been committed, new leads and information can come to light that can help investigators close the case.

Criminals who thought they had gotten away with their crimes are now constantly looking over their shoulders, knowing that they can be caught at any moment.

With the use of genetic genealogy and other investigative tools, law enforcement agencies are determined to bring justice to the families and loved ones of victims, no matter how long ago the crime occurred.

As technology continues to evolve, it is likely that more cold cases will be solved and criminals will continue to be held accountable for their actions.

READ NEXT: 20 Most Infamous Unsolved Cold Cases in American History

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