TX investigators use new DNA technology to identify cold case victim from Memphis

TX investigators use new DNA technology to identify cold case victim from Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It’s a crime that has haunted a community for decades.

Audrey Lee Cook went to Kingsbury High decades ago and graduated in 1973. To Texas investigators she has been known as Jane Doe since the late 1980′s.

But now fascinating new DNA Technology not only identified Cook and three other women, it could lead to a killer.

"What we discovered is that the ‘86 victim was from Tennessee," said Lt. Michael Buffington with the League City Police.

Cook’s body was found in 1986 in League City near Houston in a boggy area known as the Texas Killing Field because the bodies of three other women were found 300 yards apart at separate times a few years apart.

Investigators say it does not appear the women knew each other and the only similarity in their deaths is where their bodies were found. Texas investigators say Audrey Cook, who moved from Memphis to the Houston area in 1976, was known to sell and take cocaine.

Texas ‘Killing Fields’ victim from Memphis, police say

Police put that out hoping it will lead to her killer. Her family never filed a missing person’s report but went to Texas to look for her. Cook and another woman were identified by new DNA technology and profiles from Ancestry.com.

"This is where our Jane Doe adds up being on this family tree,” Lt. Buffington said.

Investigators worked from the family tree database and came up with several possible cousins of Cook and then finally identified her body recently. They say the women were not clothed when they were found.

They did not say how they were killed, but they want to catch the killer.

“We would like to find a connection between all four if possible,” said Richard Rennison with the FBI. “We would like to find any similarities any information that will help identify the killer of those victims.”

Even though the women died in Texas, investigators released all of that information, hoping someone knows something that will lead to the killer.

Investigators want any information they can get, no matter how minute.

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