No DNA match in 2004 Jenner murders

July 31, 2009 1:48:39 PM PDT
Evidence from a man who was killed in a shootout in New Mexico does not link him to the unsolved murders of two Christian camp counselors on a Jenner beach five years ago, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department said today.

MOST POPULAR: Video, stories and more
SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

Sheriff's Capt. Matt McCaffrey said a DNA sample from 62-year-old Joseph Henry Burgess does not match DNA samples taken from items found at Horseshoe Beach where Jason Allen, 26, and his fiancee Lindsay Cutshall, 23, were shot in their sleeping bags in August 2004.

Burgess, a drifter originally from New Jersey, killed Sandoval County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Joseph Harris before he was fatally shot two weeks ago in a cabin in the Jemez Mountains near Alburquerque, N.M.

Harris and a sheriff's deputy were staking out a cabin where they hoped to capture the suspect, dubbed "the Cookie Bandit" who had been breaking into cabins and stealing food and other supplies.

Burgess was a suspect in the slayings of a young couple camping together at Radar Beach south of Tofino on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in 1972. Their bodies were found in a sleeping bag.

Burgess reportedly made it known in the Vancouver Island area that he disapproved of an unmarried Christian couple living on the beach, according to news accounts of that double homicide.

The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department considered Burgess a "person of interest" in the Jenner beach slayings and deputies traveled to New Mexico last weekend to meet with law enforcement officers, McCaffrey said.

Detectives returned to Sonoma County with a DNA sample from Burgess and an expended .45 caliber bullet, McCaffrey said.

The items were examined by the California Department of Justice crime lab. The DNA sample did not match DNA evidence taken from items on Horseshoe Beach and the bullet was not fired from the Marlin rifle used to kill Cutshall and Allen, McCaffrey said.

"While analysis of this evidence does not implicate Burgess in the Jenner homicides, it does not exclude him either and he will continue to be a person of interest as we continue to investigate this case," McCaffrey said in a prepared statement.

Among the items found on the beach was a beer bottle. McCaffrey would not disclose any other items containing DNA that were found on the beach. He said those items could contain DNA from someone who was not the killer.

"We're still trying to trace Burgess's steps," McCaffrey said.

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget


Load Comments