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CSPD makes an arrest in 1987 cold case murder

Posted: 4:08 PM, Jun 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-14 19:35:57-04
Michael-Whyte-mug
Mugshot of Michael Whyte (CSPD)

COLORADO SPRINGS – Police have arrested a man for a murder that took place more than 30 years ago in Colorado Springs.

Michael Whyte, 58, was arrested Thursday for the murder of Darlene Krashoc, 20, who was an active duty soldier stationed at Fort Carson when she was killed in March of 1987.

According to a release from CSPD officers discovered Krashoc’s body early in the morning on March 17, 1987, behind the Korean Club Restaurant at 2710 South Academy Blvd.

The night before her death Krashoc went to a different club called Shuffles with members of her military unit and was seen leaving between midnight and 1 a.m.

An autopsy determined Krashoc died of strangulation and was moved to the Korean Club Restaurant after her death.

Darlene-Krashoc
Darlene Krashoc was found murdered early in the morning of March 17, 1987, behind the Korean Club Restaurant in Colorado Springs. (CSPD)

The case went cold but was reopened in 2004 and 2011 for lab testing. Investigators found that an unknown male DNA profile was found on several pieces of evidence.

In 2016 Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, working with CSPD, submitted evidence to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Laboratory for more DNA testing in an effort to find new leads. That analysis included trait predictions for the suspect’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape, which allowed investigators to create a “snapshot” composite of what the suspect may have looked like at the time of the murder, and what he might look like today.

CSPD says it is important to note those composites are scientific approximations, and not likely to be exact replicas of appearance. DNA analysis cannot predict environmental factors like smoking, drinking, and diet, or non-environmental factors like facial hair, hairstyle, and scars, among others.

Early this year CSPD and Army CID identified Whyte as the suspect in Krashoc’s death. He was arrested Thursday by members of the Violent Offender Fugitive Task Force, CSPD Cold Case Homicide Unit, and Army CID at his home in the 1500 block of E. 131st Place in Thornton and taken to the Adams County Detention Facility.

Army officials say they’re thankful to all of the agencies involved in Whyte’s arrest.

“Words cannot convey the satisfaction we are feeling from this arrest,” said Major General David Glaser, the Provost Marshal General of the Army and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command.  “I’m extremely proud of our special agents on this case led by Special Agent Jessica Veltri.  They have worked tirelessly and shoulder to shoulder with the Colorado Springs Police Department and the quiet professionals from our U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory on this investigation.  We sincerely hope that today’s announcement in some small way brings comfort to the family and friends of Spc. Darlene Krashoc.”

CSPD says Cold Case Detectives Joe Somosky and Jim Isham are responsible for closing more than 100 unsolved homicide cases dating back to the 1940s.

“There is a lot to be proud of today,” says Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski. “The work done by these detectives has been nothing short of exceptional. Since 1987, CSPD Cold Case Detectives, Violent Crimes Detectives, and U.S. Army CID Investigators have worked tirelessly to bring this investigation to a conclusion. Throughout these last 32 years, they never lost sight of what was most important: Finding answers for Ms. Krashoc’s family. We hope this arrest will provide those answers and some comfort.”