Police in Cedar Rapids say they may be on the verge of solving a 35-year-old murder case. Back in December, an anonymous tipster provided information about the 1979 stabbing death of 18-year-old Michelle Martinko.
Detective Doug Larison says although it didn’t lead to an arrest, it eventually could. “I know the caller is nervous and doesn’t want to contact us back and that’s part of the reason I feel it’s credible,” Larison says. “The information (was) kind of in clue form which led us to a specific person, but that person has been eliminated now through DNA.”
Martinko was a senior at Kennedy High School when she was found dead inside her family’s car parked at Westdale Mall. Larison says nearly 80 potential suspects have since been identified, but they’ve all been eliminated by DNA evidence. Larison is hoping to speak to the tipster again. “I can’t divulge very many details about the nature of the call because it might tip people off to identify who this caller is. I’m trying to protect this person’s anonymity,” Larison says. “I just want to urge this caller not to be nervous or to be in fear and just give me a call and talk to me personally over the phone. The caller will remain anonymous.”
The tipster can reach Larison at 319-286-5412 or 319-521-6003.