Brian Dripps

Brian Leigh Dripps Sr. was arrested on May 15, 2019 and charged with the 1996 murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge in Idaho Falls, Idaho. An intruder broke into her apartment on the evening of June 13, 1996. He raped her and cut her throat.

Semen samples were collected from the scene but produced no hits to law enforcement databases. About 20 samples were collected from local men, but not Dripps as he had left the area shortly after the murder. Dripps had lived across form the street from Dodge at the time. He had been interviewed by the police, but he told them that he had been drinking heavily that evening and could remember nothing.

Semen was found on Dodge’s legs and clothing. The FGG investigation was conducted by Parabon Nanolabs. The initial confirmation was made through police surveillance followed by the surreptitious sampling of a discarded cigarette butt discarded by Dripps.

Dripps confessed to the crime when confronted with the DNA evidence. He stated to police that he did not mean to kill her, just to hold the knife to her throat; he thought she was still alive when he left. His case is pending in the Bonneville District Court.

This case is also notable as it involved the wrongful conviction of Chris Tapp who spent 20 years in prison for the murder after a false confession. Police had used coercive interview tactics that are now known to produce false confessions. His DNA sample was taken, and he was found to be excluded as a contributor to the crime scene DNA. This did not assist Tapp, however, as he had told police that he did not sexually assault Dodge, but he was with two men who did. Tapp was exonerated with the help of the Idaho Innocence Project, and with the support of Angie’s mom, Carol Dodge, who was eager to find the truth about her daughter’s murder.

This case has also gained a good deal of notoriety for being the case in which Michael Usry was identified as a possible suspect through a Y-STR profile matched through what was then the Sorensen database. Usry’s father was a close match to the crime scene DNA on the Y-chromosome, and Usry had once travelled to Idaho. Once Usry’s DNA sample was analyzed in 2014, he was excluded as a contributor, but he had to wait about a month for this news.

The FGG investigation conducted by CeCe Moore of Parabon Nanolabs. They learned that Dripps is indeed a descendent through the male line of the Usry family. Moore narrowed the suspect list down to six male descendants of Clarence Ussery (1896-1949), and his wife Cleo Ardis Landrum (1899-1979). Police conducted surveillance and surreptitious sampling of a wad of chewing tobacco from one Wendell Ussery, but his DNA was excluded as being a contributor to the crime scene DNA. Wendell appeared to be a first cousin once removed or a second cousin once removed, to the actual perpetrator. Investigators then realized that there was a male descendent missing from the family tree. This led them to discover that Brian Dripps’ mother had divorced and remarried when Brian was very young, and he was raised under his stepfather’s name – Dripps, and not his father’s name – which had been Ussery.

Dripps entered a guilty plea, and was sentenced on June 8, 2021 to 20 years to life in prison.


Brown, Ruth. “Who is Brian Dripps? Caldwell Man Arrested for Long-Unsolved Murder of Angie Dodge.” Idaho Statesman, May 16, 2019. Accessed December 13, 2020.

Eaton, Nate. “Dripps Says He Didn’t Mean to Kill Angie Dodge and Acted Alone, According to Court Documents.” East Idaho News, May 17, 2019, last modified May 20, 2019. Accessed December 13, 2020.

Grossarth, Eric. After 25 Years, Brian Dripps Goes to Prison for Rape and Murder of Angie Dodge.” East Idaho News, June 8, 2021. Accessed June 12, 2021.

Innocence Project. “DNA Testing Identifies Actual Perpetrator in 1996 Idaho Falls Rape and Murder, Confirming Christopher Tapp’s Innocence.” Innocence Project (Press Release), July 17, 2019. Accessed January 12, 2021.

Sewell, Cynthia. “‘Negative. Negative. Negative.’ Then, a DNA Match. Here’s How Science Cracked Angie’s Case.” Idaho Statesman, May 24, 2019. Accessed December 13, 2020.

State of Idaho v. Brian Leigh Dripps. Detective Sage Albright Affidavit in Support of Arrest Warrant. In the District Court of the Seventh Judicial District State of Idaho, County of Bonneville, Magistrate Court. May 15, 2019. Accessed December 13, 2020.


First Name Brian
Last Name Dripps
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started 2019-01-00
Case Cleared 2019-05-15
IGG Org Parabon


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1207 Angie Dodge 18 1996-06-13 Idaho Falls, ID Idaho Falls PD First degree murder Guilty plea entered by defendant Bonneville DIST CT

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.