On the morning of March 17th 1987, the naked body of a young woman was found behind a restaurant on 2710 S. Academy Blvd in Colorado Springs. Autopsy revealed that she had been strangled to death with a ligature after a night out and Investigators determined that she had been murdered in another location and dumped behind the “Korean Club Restaurant”.
The nature of the murder was violent and was clearly sexually motivated. The victim had been raped and beaten before finally being choked to death with a wire clothes hanger. There were also bite marks on her body. The nature of the murder was so freakish at the time that the FBI could not assist police with a criminal profile.
“We don’t know why somebody would develop this kind of anger” commented the lead detective on the case.
The victim was later identified as 20 year old solider Darlene Krashoc.
Her body was found at around 5:20AM just 6 miles from the base she was stationed at.
Krashoc, who was on active duty stationed at Fort Carson, had been out that night with some friends from her unit, 73rd Maintenance Company, at a local club called “Shuffles” on 1861 Academy Boulevard. They had a few drinks and danced until eventually deciding to call it a night.
She was last seen leaving the club between midnight and 1AM. What happened after that, nobody knows for sure, but Krashoc’s body would be discovered several hours later by patrolling police officers and the case would remain unsolved for over three decades.
Several days before her murder, Darlene Krashoc had a panicked phone call with her mother. Although she was originally excited about enlisting, her attitude had shifted during the days leading up to her brutal end. She seemed afraid and no longer wanted to be stationed at Fort Carson for reasons that she declined to share with her mother. Is it possible that she was in an abusive relationship with the man that killed her? Had he been harassing her since she’d been stationed there?
Her family circulated posters in a desperate plea for information but nothing came of it.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command along with the local Police department tried their best to determine a suspect through interviews with anyone who had a connection to the slain soldier to no avail. Although there was DNA recovered from the crime scene there was little they could do with it back in the late eighties so it remained in evidence until the mid-2000’s when it was forwarded to a lab for testing. The lab revealed that a separate male DNA profile had been identified and over a decade later a composite image representing the likeness of a potential suspect was rendered by Parabon NanoLabs in an attempt to identify the perpetrator.
The generated images showed a Caucasian male with hazel eyes, medium-light brown hair and a spray freckles across his skin. The lab used DNA phenotyping to produce the image of the suspect estimating what he would have looked like at the time of the crime as well as an age progressed image of what he may look like today. Although the image brought focus to the case once again, it did not lead to an arrest, nor did the $10,000 reward offered by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command.
A couple of years later through genealogy websites forensic investigators happened upon another lead when they identified individuals registered to the ancestry databases that shared a DNA type with the suspect. The suspected killer turned out to be a distant cousin of two of the registered users who were able to provide enough information for investigators to follow the lead.
The suspected killer was soon identified as now 58 year old Michael Whyte. Local and military police located Whyte and began survey him as he traveled between his place of work and his home in Thornton on 1500, East 131st Place. They retrieved a used drink cup that he had discarded and tested his DNA against the DNA found at the crime scene and on the victim. It was a match. According to a report in the Gazette Michael Whyte was also a soldier stationed at Fort Carson at the time of the killing.
Michael Whyte was arrested earlier this month on charges of first degree murder and taken to Adam county jail where he currently being detained. His wife does not believe that he is guilty of the crime and is standing by him. The arrest, which saw police and military swarm the quiet neighborhood in Thornton where Whyte has been residing, shocked the community. So far not much information is known about the suspect.
His mug shot shows an aged Caucasian male with receding grey hair and blue eyes. His lips are pursed and he looks sullen and worried. Users under articles about the case commend the work of the police force and the “criminals can’t hide anymore” sentiment is echoed throughout the comment sections.