KEY WEST, Fla. (WFOR) – After nearly 30 years, DNA technology has helped crack a cold case in the Florida Keys.
That case became known as the “Valentine Jane Doe Homicide” and made headline news.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said that the previously unknown young woman discovered on Feb. 15, 1991, in a wooded area off U.S. 1 near Mile Marker 35 has now been identified as Wanda Deann Kirkum, who was 18 and lived in Hornell, New York.
Her killer has been identified as Robert Lynn Bradley, who was killed in a homicide in Texas in April 1992 at age 31.
Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit Detective Vince Weiner and the FDLE partnered using new advanced DNA technology, which assisted in identifying Kirkum and Bradley.
Bradley’s DNA was obtained from the 1991 crime scene in the Florida Keys. That DNA, as well as DNA from his own homicide scene, were recently compared at the FDLE crime lab and determined to be a match.
Forensic examination determined Kirkum had been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled to death.
“I would like to personally thank Major Crimes Unit Detective Vince Weiner and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their efforts in solving this very serious and tragic crime,” said Sheriff Rick Ramsay. “This case is a testament and shining example of this agency’s commitment to solving crime, no matter how old the case and no matter the challenges.”