APPLETON, Wis.—A Washington state man has been charged in the 1988 slaying of a Wisconsin woman after he was identified using “familial DNA searching” to examine records of people who may be related to the suspect.
Gene C. Meyer, 66, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual assault with use of a dangerous weapon in the killing of 60-year-old Betty Rolf, WLUK-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin, reported Thursday.
Meyer lived about a mile from where Rolf’s body was found on Nov. 7, 1988, just outside of Appleton, Wisconsin. The complaint alleges that Meyer fled to Washington after the slaying. He now lives in Eastonville.
Rolf had been sexually assaulted, beaten, and strangled.
Meyer was arrested Wednesday, the sheriff’s department in Outagamie County, Wisconsin, said. He was jailed in Washington pending extradition to Wisconsin.
The criminal complaint says investigators had a DNA prolife from a sample taken from Rolf’s body and searched a DNA database for any close biological relatives to the suspect. Based on that sarch, police determined the only suspects could be Meyer or his brother.
The brother provided a DNA sample that eliminated him as a suspect, the complaint said.
FBI agents tracked down Meyer to Washington, and obtained DNA samples from the door handle of his truck. The complaint says the samples matched those obtained from Rolf’s body during an autopsy.