On June 25, a judge sentenced the man convicted of the 34-year-old cold case slaying of a solider in Colorado to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The decision came two years after police arrested Michael Whyte, 58, and charged him with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Darlene Krashoc, a 20-year-old soldier stationed at Fort Carson.
Krashoc was last seen leaving an area club she had gone to with her unit. Her body was found behind a Korean restaurant on March 17, 1987. Detectives determined she had been raped, mutilated and strangled to death with a wire hanger, KXRM-TV reported.
Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command worked with Colorado Springs Police Department detectives to solve the case by retesting items from the crime for DNA in 2016. They then were able to trace the forensic evidence to Whyte, whose DNA was found on the victim’s pants and body as well as on the wire hanger, by using a DNA ancestry site and genetic genealogy.
“The work done by these detectives has been nothing short of exceptional,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski said in a statement after Whyte’s 2019 arrest, according to KKTV.
“Since 1987, CSPD Cold Case detectives, Violent Crimes detectives, and U.S. Army CID Investigators have worked tirelessly to bring this investigation to a conclusion. Throughout these last 32 years, they never lost sight of what was most important: Finding answers for Ms. Krashoc’s family,” Niski continued, noting, “We hope this arrest will provide those answers and some comfort.”
The victim’s father, Paul Krashoc, said getting justice for his daughter has been“a long haul,” but “she can rest in peace now.”
“We’ll always miss her. We’ll always remember her, but I think it will be easier to go on now from day to day knowing that justice has been done,” he added.