The cold case of a mother’s murder in 1988 was finally solved thanks to DNA evidence found in a chilling letter sent decades ago to a local newspaper with intimate details of the crime.
Anna Kane was 26 when she was strangled to death and her body found on October 23, 1988 along a trail in Perry Township, Pennsylvania.
Nearly 35 years after his death, his killer was identified using groundbreaking DNA genealogy technology, a local official said.
He was called Scott Grim during a press conference on Thursday.
After the 1988 murder, DNA evidence was collected from Kane’s clothes. An indeterminate male DNA profile appeared, but no match was found.
In 1990, the Reading Eagle newspaper ran a front-page story about Kane’s murder, asking for help with information on the case.
In February 1990, the newspaper received an anonymous letter signed by a “concerned citizen” that contained “numerous intimate details” about the murder, state police officer Daniel Womer said.
“This led investigators to believe that whoever wrote the letter committed the murder,” he said.
The saliva-sealed envelope the letter was sent in was tested for DNA and matched the DNA profile found on Kane’s clothes.
This year, genetic genealogy tests from that DNA profile were completed by Parabon NanoLabs in Virginia, a lab that helped solve a number of cold cases.
The results determined that a possible suspect was Scott Grim. He died in 2018 of natural causes at the age of 58. He would have been 26 at the time of Kane’s murder.
The police then obtained a direct sample of Grim’s DNA for their own tests and matched the DNA profile on the letter envelope and the profile found on Kane’s clothes. Officials did not explain how they got that sample.
“We were able to take Scott Grim’s direct sample. We had our Pennsylvania State Police laboratory do a direct comparison to the DNA of the letter in 1990, as well as the original evidence from the victim’s clothing, which all showed. the contributor himself, being Scott Grim, his DNA profile was on all of those elements, ”Womer said.
Police praised the work of the original investigators in the case, saying their collection of evidence was key to solving the case now that DNA technology has evolved.
Police said Grim did not appear in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, launched in 1998. They found that Grim, who hailed from the Hamburg area, was arrested in 2002 in Berks County in a harassment case in which allegedly sent intimidating letters to his former business partner.
Officials said an ongoing investigation into Grim’s history and background, including his exact relationship with Kane. Police have so far said in interviews with people who knew Grim that they did not disclose any relationship between the two.
“That doesn’t mean there wasn’t some connection that we haven’t found yet,” Womer said.
He acknowledged that it had previously been reported that Kane was working as a prostitute and it is possible that Grim may have been a client.
The Reading Eagle described Kane as a mother of three. She had lived in Reading but she had moved to the Birdsboro area shortly before she was killed, officials said.
Pennsylvania State Police and Berks County District Attorney John Adams commended the authorities for their diligent work in the case.
“I know in some respects that he is deceased, he will never face justice as we all would have hoped for in this murder,” he said. “But we solved it. We gave the family a closure.”
The original story can be found here.