Exactly 39 years to the day after Michelle Marie Martinko was killed and left in her household’s automotive in a Cedar Rapids mall parking zone, police stated they’ve arrested a 64-yr-previous Manchester man and charged him with first-diploma homicide. 

Police arrested Jerry Lynn Burns on Wednesday morning. Burns, who was about 25 years previous at the time of Martinko’s dying, will make his first courtroom look Thursday morning in Linn County.

Police found 18-yr-previous Martinko — her face and chest stabbed repeatedly — in her household’s tan 1972 Buick in Cedar Rapids’ Westdale Mall parking zone at four a.m. on Dec. 20, 1979. The Kennedy High Faculty senior had driven to the mall after a faculty choir banquet to shop for a brand new winter coat.

Wounds on the teen’s palms confirmed she fought her killer, however the medical expert’s workplace stated Martinko was discovered absolutely clothed and had not been sexually molested.

Detectives found no weapon or fingerprints to determine a suspect and stated Martinko had not been robbed. Based mostly on the number of stab wounds — notably to the younger lady’s face — police thought-about the homicide personal in nature.

On June 19, 1980, police launched a composite sketch, developed based mostly on descriptions offered by two witnesses, of the man they believed stabbed Martinko. The sketch indicated a white male in his late teenagers or early 20s, weighing between one hundred sixty five-one hundred seventy five pounds, and standing about 6 ft tall.

Through the unique investigation, detectives compiled an inventory of greater than 80 potential suspects. Greater than 60 have been examined and eradicated.

Using new know-how, Cedar Rapids Police Department was capable of procure DNA evidence in 2006. Police stated since that time, they covertly obtained DNA from Burns and that it matched the DNA proof that they had on file from Martinko’s killing. 

Return to desmoinesregister.com for extra on this breaking news story. 

Read or Share this story: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/information/2018/12/19/cedar-rapids-police-iowa-chilly-case-make-arrest-1979-killing-michelle-martinko-homicide-jerry-burns/2370821002/