State Police use DNA evidence to solve 1988 murder of Anna Kane

Scott Grim, who died in 2018, has been identified as the man who killed 26 year-old Anna Kane in 1988. The announcement was made during a press conference Thursday morning at the Pennsylvania State Police Troop L headquarters in Reading.

Investigators say they used new advances in genetic genealogy to identify Grim as a suspect. A native of Hamburg, police say Grim died of natural causes at the age of 58 in 2018.

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Kane, from Reading, was found dead along Ontelaunee Trail Road in Perry Township on October 23, 1988. The investigating revealed the cause of death to be strangulation.

Photo via PA State Police: Anna Kane

Evidence collected in the case included the victim’s clothing. Later, State Police were able to determine that an unknown male DNA profile was on multiple items of clothing. In 1990, the Reading Eagle ran front page story about the homicide.

In February of 1990, the Reading Eagle received an anonymous letter concerning the homicide. Investigators said the letter had numerous intimate details about the homicide, which led them to believe the writer of the letter had committed the homicide.

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The envelope from 1990 was tested for DNA and determined to match the unknown male profile from the victim’s clothing. With genetic genealogy completed by Parabon NanoLabs, investigators determined that a possible suspect was Scott Grim.

Photo via PA State Police: 1988 Crime scene photo, Ontelaunee Trail Road in Perry Township.

State Police determined that Scott Grim died in 2018, but were able to obtain a direct sample of Grims’s DNA, which matched the unknown DNA profile from the victim’s clothing.

In 2002, Grim was arrested by Exeter Township Police in a harassment case where he mailed similar letters to a former business partner. Investigators discovered that the direct DNA sample, along with DNA from the 2002 and 1990 envelopes matched the DNA profile from victim’s clothing.

Photo via PA State Police: Scott Grim

“I am just so proud to be associated with discovering the perpetrator. I know in some respects, the fact that he his deceased, he will never face justice as we all would hope for this homicide, but we solved it. We gave some closure to the family” said District Attorney John T. Adams.

“This is one cold case, there are others out there. We need the help of the public to assist us to obtain leads. Not every case is going to have a great DNA profile, but someone out there has some information, and we’re never going to stop looking as the Pennsylvania State Police displayed in this case.”

Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams.

Captain Robert L. Bailey added, “This cold case investigation is a prime example of the due diligence of the Pennsylvania State Police and the Berks County District Attorney’s Office. Every victim, despite their background, good, bad or indifferent, deserves closure. I hope this sends a message to the citizens of Berks County we are willing to do anything in our power to investigate any case that comes out way.”

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