Donald McQuade was arrested on August 30, 2019 and charged in the January 7, 1978 rape and murder of 16-year-old Shelley Connolly in Anchorage, Alaska.
Connolly was last seen leaving a bar in Anchorage. She had been sexually assaulted and beaten. She was then dragged behind a vehicle before being dumped along the railroad tracks near Beluga Point. She died by blunt force trauma to her abdomen as well as hypothermia – she had no jacket or shoes on when she was found.
A DNA profile was developed from skin found under Connolly’s fingernails. The FGG investigation was conducted by Parabon Nanolabs. The initial confirmation was made by police in Gresham, Oregon who performed surreptitious sampling of cigarette butts discarded by McQuade.
McQuade was living in Alaska at the time of the murder, and he matches the description of a man seen leaving the bar with Connolly the night she died. McQuade has told police that he may have had sexual intercourse with the victim. He admits that he had issues with alcohol at the time and may not have a good memory of the events that night.
The case against McQuade is pending in Anchorage Superior Court.
Noronha, Remus. “Oregon Man Who Raped and Dragged Alaska Teen from a Moving Car in 1978 Arrested After DNA Links Him to Her.” Meaww, April 2, 2020. https://meaww.com/oregon-man-alaska-cold-case-dna-evidence-1978-shelley-connolly-donald-mcquade.
Ramakrishnan, Jayati. “Details About Gresham Suspect Emerge From 1978 Alaska Cold Case,” The Oregonian, September 9, 2019, last modified 10 September 10, 2019. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://www.oregonlive.com/crime/2019/09/details-about-gresham-suspect-emerge-from-1978-alaska-cold-case.html.
State of Alaska Department of Law. “Oregon Man Indicted in 1978 Cold Case Slaying of Anchorage Teenager.” State of Alaska Department of Law (Press Release), October 4, 2019. Accessed December 26, 2020. http://law.alaska.gov/press/releases/2019/DAO/100419-McQuade.html