Northern Minnesota man arrested in 1986 cold case homicide

July 30, 2020 GMT

VIRGINIA, Minn. (AP) — Police on Wednesday arrested a northern Minnesota man in the cold-case killing of a woman 34 years ago.

Agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Chisholm police arrested the 52-year-old Chisholm man after a BCA lab earlier Wednesday confirmed that his DNA matched DNA from the crime scene. He was booked into jail on probable cause second-degree murder.

Nancy Daugherty of Chisholm was last seen alive early on July 16, 1986. That afternoon, police conducting a welfare check found her dead inside her home. There was evidence of a struggle, and witnesses reported hearing a woman screaming early that morning.


DNA at the scene did not match any persons in the criminal DNA database. Investigators over the years interviewed and collected DNA from more than 100 people but were unable to find a solid lead.

Early this year, Chisholm police approached the BCA about providing a sample of the DNA evidence to a company that analyzes public genealogy databases. This month the company identified the man as a potential suspect.

Police began surveillance of the man last week and surreptitiously obtained DNA evidence, which matched DNA at the scene. On Wednesday, investigators obtained a DNA sample directly from the man with his consent, and that sample matched, the BCA said.