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DNA That Led To Man’s Arrest For '96 Homicide In Denver Matches Profile In Unsolved Seattle Slaying: Officials

dna arrest denver murder unsolved seattle homicide
Source: Colorado Bureau of Investigation; Denver District Attorney's Office

Feb. 27 2023, Published 1:57 p.m. ET

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A Florida man arrested in connection with a 1996 cold case murder in Denver is now possibly linked to an unsolved Seattle homicide, officials said.

On Oct. 5, 1996, Terri Turachak, 35, was found sexually assaulted and strangled to death inside her apartment in Denver, the Denver District Attorney’s Office said.

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Authorities said DNA from the crime scene was matched to Ricky Dawson, who was 35 at the time of the killing, in August 2004, after the Denver Police Crime Lab got a DNA offender match.

At the time, it was determined Dawson was incarcerated in a Florida prison, where he was serving a 25-year sentence for an unrelated second-degree murder and sexual assault in the state.

On Feb. 23, Dawson, now 62, appeared in a Denver court, where he was arraigned on charges of first-degree murder after deliberation, and first-degree murder predicate attempted sexual assault in connection with the Turachak case.

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Authorities said Dawson has also become a suspect in a 2000 Seattle cold case after his DNA allegedly linked him to a murder and sex assault there.

The investigation into the case is ongoing, and Seattle police have not yet presented evidence to the King County Prosecuting Attorney, The Denver Post reported.

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Dawson is next scheduled to appear in court in Denver on March 23.

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