Clayton Giese

Clayton Carl Giese has been identified as the suspect in the August 3, 1985 rape and murder of 12-year-old Marsi Leah Belecz in Spokane, Washington. The case has been cleared by exception due to the death of Giese.

Belecz had bought a new dress and a pair of jelly shoes to go to a party at her friends’ house. Her father had been very upset at this, since they were a strict family, and so she left for the party without permission. She never came home. Her body was found next day in a towing yard in an old neighbourhood near downtown Spokane. She had been raped, beaten, and stabbed more than two dozen times.

A DNA profile of the suspect was created through semen found on Belecz’s body at her autopsy. The FGG investigation was conducted by Parabon Nanolabs. Giese had died in a car accident in 1989. His body was exhumed to confirm the DNA match with the DNA sample recovered from Belecz.

At the time of Belecz’s murder, there were several homeless camps along the Spokane River, and the men there became suspects. Police interviewed over 115 transient men, suspecting them of possible involvement in the little girl’s death. About 87 suspects provided their DNA to police, and they were all eliminated.


Curry, Rob. “Spokane Police Solve 1985 Cold Case, Suspect Deceased.” KHQ Q6 News, March 25, 2020, last modified March 27, 2020. Accessed December 21, 2020.

Luck, Melissa, and Taylor Graham. “Spokane Police Used Genealogy, Exhumed Suspected Killer’s Grave to Solve 1985 Cold Case Murder.” KXLY News, March 25, 2020. Accessed December 21, 2020.

Sokol, Chad. “Spokane Police Say Genetic Sleuthing Solved 1985 Murder of 12-Year-Old Girl.” Spokesman Review, March 25, 2020. Accessed December 21, 2020.


First Name Clayton
Last Name Giese
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2020-03-25
IGG Org Parabon


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1349 Marsi Belecz 12 1985-08-03 Spokane, WA Spokane PD Second degree murder Case was cleared by exception due to death of perpetrator n/a

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.