On July 7, 2023, Boise Police announced that Frank A. Rodriguez was the lead suspect in the October 13, 1987 murder of 65-year-old Joyce Casper in Boise, Idaho. Rodriguez is reported to have died in 2007, and the case has been cleared by exception.
Casper was found dead in her car, which was parked just blocks from the business that she owned – the Vista Hallmark Gift Shop. She had likely been abducted after she closed up her shop. She was then sexually assaulted and killed. A few weeks earlier, she had reported to police that a young man with slicked-back black hair had tried to assault her in her shop, but she had escaped.
DNA was preserved from the original crime scene. This would enable forensic scientists to obtain a DNA profile of the suspect after the case was reopened in 2017. There was no match to the suspect’s DNA in law enforcement databases.
The FGG investigation was conducted by Identifinders International in partnership with the Boise Police Department, beginning in 2020. The case was especially challenging, due to the Hispanic ancestry of the suspect. The final confirmation was made by kinship testing with Rodriguez’s living family members.
Parabon Nanolabs has earlier performed forensic phenotypic in this case, and were able to determine that the DNA came from a male of Latino ancestry, and with brown or black hair and brown or hazel eyes.
Identifinders team leader Lisa Lewis stated that Casper was a much-loved leader and strong business woman at a time when that was not common.
Boise police are working with other law enforcement agencies to determine whether Rodriguez may be linked to other offences.
City of Boise. “Boise Police Detectives Solve Decades-Old Cold Cases.” City of Boise, July 7, 2023. Accessed July 10, 2023. https://www.cityofboise.org/news/police/2023/july/boise-police-detectives-solve-decades-old-cold-case/.
Duggan, Alexandra. “Joyce Caspar was Killed in 1987. Boise Police Just Solved Her Murder.” KTVB 7 News, July 7, 2023. Accessed July 10, 2023. https://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/joyce-casper-was-killed-in-1987-boise-police-just-solved-her-murder-cold-case/277-7d88dd76-2e26-4f79-8fdf-c7b828f555ef.
Identifinders. “1987 Homicide of Joyce Casper Solved Using Forensic genetic Genealogy.” Accesswire, July 9, 2023. Accessed July 10, 2023. https://www.accesswire.com/766342/1987-Homicide-of-Joyce-Casper-Solved-Using-Forensic-Genetic-Genealogy.