SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department investigators are hoping new information and technology may help crack a decades-old cold case.
“These cases, in my view, are just as important as the crime done today,” said Micki Links, a retired Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sgt.
For 12 years, Links has investigated the death of 20-year-old Robin Brooks.
“This is a 1980 rape homicide case,” explained Links.
Brooks was killed inside the bedroom of her Rosemont apartment on April 24, 1980.
Friends and coworkers became worried when Brooks didn’t show up for work the next day at this Donut time on Kiefer Blvd. Police went to her house and broke down the door. Inside they found her body with stab wounds.
For decades, it was believed that Brooks walked home immediately following work.
“About a year ago, I had a person come and tell me that she actually went to a party after work,” said Links.
It was mainly Hiram Johnson High School teens at the party.
“For 36 years we didn’t know that,” said Links about the party, “so that was pretty significant.”
With new information, Links decided to try a new technology type of DNA phenotyping technology. They’d had the suspect’s blood from the crime scene but haven’t found a match.
“A lot of the cases that come to us are cold cases,” said Dr. Ellen Greytak with Parabon NanoLabs.
“We focus on things that don’t change with the environment, so we do pigmentation which is eye hair and skin color,” said Greytak.
Parabon NanoLabs was able to take the DNA sample from the crime scene and generate an image of how the suspect likely looks.
“They may have some information, and so now they have a face to look at,” said Links.
“It still is a good investigative lead,” said Dr. Monte Miller, a DNA expert.
He says the imaging is a good start, but there are some cautions.
“You wouldn’t want to be biased and immediately,” said Miller, “it isn’t authoritative. It’s just suggestive.”
Links says she’s hoping someone may see the images — recognize this person.. and possibly crack the case.
“They deserve justice, and they at least deserve for us to try and solve their case,” said Links.
Brooks’ sisters are offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the killer. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department at 874-5057.