Michelle Marie Martinko

Michelle Marie Martinko

Birth
Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa, USA
Death
19 Dec 1979 (aged 18)
Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa, USA
Burial
Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa, USA GPS-Latitude: 42.0213363, Longitude: -91.6380496
Memorial ID
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Around 4 a.m. on December 20, 1979, police found 18-year-old Michelle Marie Martinko deceased in her family's Buick in the Westdale Mall parking lot. The Kennedy High School senior had driven to the newly opened mall after a school choir banquet to shop for a new winter coat.

Wounds on the teen's hands showed she had fought her killer, but she was not sexually assaulted or robbed. Detectives found no weapon or fingerprints to identify her killer.

Thanks to the advancement of DNA and genetics, on December 19, 2018, exactly 39 years after her murder, police finally identified her murderer with genetic genealogy: a 64-year-old male who was 25 years old when the tragedy happened. On February 24, 2020, a jury convicted him of first-degree murder. On August 7, 2020, the trial judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Around 4 a.m. on December 20, 1979, police found 18-year-old Michelle Marie Martinko deceased in her family's Buick in the Westdale Mall parking lot. The Kennedy High School senior had driven to the newly opened mall after a school choir banquet to shop for a new winter coat.

Wounds on the teen's hands showed she had fought her killer, but she was not sexually assaulted or robbed. Detectives found no weapon or fingerprints to identify her killer.

Thanks to the advancement of DNA and genetics, on December 19, 2018, exactly 39 years after her murder, police finally identified her murderer with genetic genealogy: a 64-year-old male who was 25 years old when the tragedy happened. On February 24, 2020, a jury convicted him of first-degree murder. On August 7, 2020, the trial judge sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole.