Paul Leroy Martin has been identified as the lead suspect in the March 8, 1970 rape and murder of 23-year-old Betty Lee Jones in Denver, Colorado. The case has been cleared by exception due to the death of Martin.
Jones was last seen flagging down and getting into a car that resembled the one owned by Martin at the time. Her body was found at the bottom of an embankment off Highway 128 the next day. She had been sexually assaulted, strangled, and shot. Her parents adopted and raised her young son and daughter.
The FGG investigation was performed by Bode Technologies and the FBI Investigative Genealogy Unit. During the course of the FGG investigation, DNA samples were taken from a brother of Martin, which confirmed that the killer was a sibling of his. The man had two other brothers, one who died in 1977, and one who had disappeared around 1970 – Paul Leroy – and of whom he knew nothing. Officers then obtained a warrant to exhume Paul’s body, and his DNA profile was consistent with that found at the crime scene. Martin passed away only in June of 2019.
During the investigation, DNA samples were taken from at least 6 suspects, including the victim’s husband. Police and family long suspected her husband as he had an argument with Jones before she left the house – even after his DNA was tested and was not a match. Being cleared through DNA does not always end suspicion; sometimes this can only happen when the real culprit is found.
Byars, Mitchell. “Who Killed Betty Lee Jones? How Boulder County Officials Solved a 50-Year-Old Murder.” Daily Camera, June 7, 2020. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://www.dailycamera.com/2020/06/07/who-killed-betty-lee-jones-how-boulder-county-officials-solved-a-50-year-old-murder/.
CBS 4 Denver. “1970 Rape and Murder of Betty Lee Jones Solved Using Genetic Genealogy.” CBS 4 Denver, May 28, 2020. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://denver.cbslocal.com/2020/05/28/1970-rape-murder-betty-lee-jones-solved-genetic-genealogy/.
Osborne, Ryan. “50 Years Later, Detectives Say They Found a Denver Woman’s Killer.” ABC 7 News, The Denver Channel, May 28, 2020. Accessed December 26, 2020. https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/crime/50-years-later-detectives-say-they-found-a-denver-womans-killer.