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Murder of two Montana teens in 1956 was finally closed thanks to forensic genealogy

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – DNA evidence preserved after a double homicide in 1956 and the use of forensic genealogy helped a Montana sheriff’s office shut down the books on the 65-year-old cold case, officials said.

Cascade County Sheriff’s Office investigators concluded that Kenneth Gould – who died in Oregon County, Missouri, in 2007 – more than likely killed Patricia Kalitzke, 16, and Duane Bogle, 18, reports the Great Falls Tribune. Both were shot in the head.

Detective Sgt. Jon Kadner, who took over the case in 2012, said on Tuesday it was the oldest case he can find nationwide that has been resolved using forensic genealogy , who searches commercial DNA databases to find family matches to a suspect’s DNA.

On January 3, 1956, three boys walking along the Sun River near Wadsworth Park northwest of Great Falls found Bogle dead near his car. A day later, a county road worker found Kalitzke’s body north of Great Falls.

Kalitzke was a junior at Great Falls High School and Bogle was an aviator at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Waco, Texas.

Officers investigated for years, but were unable to make an arrest.

The case remained cold for decades until 2001, when then detective Phil Matteson sent the blade of a vaginal swab collected from Kalitzke’s body to the Montana State Crime Lab for analysis. The lab found a sperm that did not belong to Bogle, officers said.

Over the next several years, law enforcement compared the DNA sample to approximately 35 other men, including gangster James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger Jr. They were all excluded as suspects.

When Matteson retired, he said he didn’t believe the case would be resolved. “A lot of different people got a turn on this, and we just weren’t able to wrap up,” he said.

In 2018, however, forensic genealogy, which was used to help adoptees find biological family members, was used to identify Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. as the Golden State Killer. The new method has identified dozens of suspects in cold cases.

In 2019, Cascade County detectives asked Bode Technology to perform additional DNA testing on the evidence found on Kalitzke’s body. It was uploaded to voluntary genealogical databases, where they discovered a possible family connection – leading investigators to Gould.

Kadner must have contacted Gould’s children and requested DNA samples to verify the match.

“I wasn’t sure how they were going to react when I told them, ‘Hey, your dad is a suspect in this case,’ but it was great working with them,” Kadner said.

Gould’s family home at the time of the homicides was just over a mile from where Kalitzke lived. He was known to ride horses in the area, officials said.

After the murders, Gould sold his property near the town of Tracy. Her family lived in the Montana communities of Geraldine and Hamilton before moving to Missouri in 1967. They did not return to Montana.

Gould had no known criminal history and was not questioned during the murder investigation. Investigators found no connection between Gould and the victims.

Agents continued to work on the case due to the circumstances, Kadner said.

“You had two dynamic young people who were highly regarded by their peer group,” he said. “The investigators put their heart and soul into this affair. They’re going a little on their own, from what I’ve seen.

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