In the latest incredible breakthrough in DNA technologies, police have confirmed partial prints could hold the key to solving the cold case murder of a grandmother who was viciously beaten to death in her own home.
Kathleen Durdin, 91, was found dead close to her favourite chair in July 2000 at her home in Hamley Bridge, a small rural town north of Adelaide. She was repeatedly struck around the head and was also found with defensive injuries to her arms and hands, as police believe she tried to defend herself from the brutal blows.
The investigation into the horrific murder has remained active ever since, but no murder weapon was ever found and no-one was charged over her death. Now however, South Australia Police have confirmed they’re checking fingerprints found at the scene against criminal databases in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, in the hopes of finally creating a full profile of her killer.
The forensic testing, conducted as part of a full review of the 18-year-old case, identified slight traces of male DNA. However, sadly it’s still not enough to form a full profile. Police hope advances in technology and further DNA samples could change that however.
Items found in her home are also now being testing for DNA, after her home was ransacked and clothing strewn around the floor at the time.
“At this time we’re awaiting results through Interpol on those fingerprints,” Detective Brevet Sergeant Blake Horder from Major Crime said in a statement.
“A number of the re-submitted items were found to have male trace DNA, but we were not able to obtain a DNA profile. We are hopeful that with further advances in DNA technology that in the future we may have enough to profile.”
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A fingerprint and partial palm print found at the property are being considered “critical evidence”, but no match has yet been found.
“We have identified a number of people of interest in this case who were either in the area or known to frequent the town on occasions, but have not been able to progress the matter any further,” Horder added.
Ms Durdin was found close to her favourite chair by a relative after a Meals on Wheels’ volunteer reported that they were unable to reach her.
“Someone is living with a dark secret, but I would remind them that police never stop looking for offenders in cases like this. I would urge them to come forward before we coming knocking on their door,” Horder warned.
A $200,000 reward is now on offer for information which could lead to the conviction of the person responsible. If you think you have information relating to the case, contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.