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DNA analysis leads to arrest of Chisholm man in '80s cold case homicide

Nancy Daugherty Photo: Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Nancy Daugherty

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: July 29, 2020 08:20 PM
Created: July 29, 2020 06:18 PM

A Chisholm man was arrested Wednesday in connection to a 1986 murder.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and Chisholm Police Department arrested 52-year-old Michael Allan Carbo Jr. on probable cause second-degree murder of Nancy Daugherty. He was booked into St. Louis County Jail.

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According to the BCA, Daugherty was last seen alive just after midnight on July 16, 1986. That afternoon, police conducted a welfare check and found her dead inside her home. She'd been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled, and evidence indicated a struggle had occurred both inside and outside of the home. Police said witnesses later reported hearing screams that morning.

The BCA said scientists obtained a full DNA suspect profile at the scene but it didn't match anyone in the criminal DNA database.

The department also said investigators interviewed and collected DNA from more than 100 people over the years. However, none led to a solid lead.

Earlier this year, Chisholm police approached the BCA about providing a sample of DNA to Parabon, a company that analyzes public genealogy databases that have law enforcement programs. The company's analysis identified Carbo as a potential suspect in July.

Investigators then began surveilling Carbo last week and obtained DNA evidence that was sent to the BCA lab for analysis. The analysis showed a DNA match to bodily fluids found at the scene. Authorities then obtained a DNA sample directly from Carbo Wednesday morning, and the BCA lab confirmed the match.

 "We are gratified to be able to provide some answers to this family and this community after all of these years," Chisholm Police Chief Vern Manner said. "We are grateful as well to the BCA and so many assisting law enforcement agencies that continued to work this case over more than three decades."
 
"This case illustrates why no case is ever cold for us," BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said. "Every time we hit a dead end, investigators and scientists go back to the drawing board. Solving this case is proof of the value of tenacious work – even when it's over a span of decades."

Charges are expected in the coming days.


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