UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) – DNA technology has cracked another cold case murder in central Ohio, according to the Upper Arlington Police Division.
The case dates back to June 3, 1980, when 8-year-old Asenath Dukat’s body was found in a creek bed at First Community Village. Upper Arlington Police Chief Steve Farmer said biological material from Dukat’s autopsy sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation laboratory actually found a DNA match in 2008. However, investigators spent years after that interviewing people in the case, re-examining evidence and submitting more for forensic analysis, to rule out any other possible person connected to Dukat’s death.
“Investigators for the Upper Arlington Police Division have tirelessly pursued justice for the Dukat Family for more than four decades,” Farmer said. “I am the sixth chief to oversee these efforts and appreciate the hard work that has been put into this case through the years.”
The DNA profile from BCI tied Brent L. Strutner to the murder of the 8-year-old girl, and Upper Arlington police said they exhausted all other possible leads in the case before coming to this conclusion. However, Strutner killed himself in Columbus four years after Dukat’s death, according to UAPD.
Robert “Chris” Winchester was another person of interest in Dukat’s murder and was also a friend of Strutner’s. UAPD could not find enough evidence to indicate Winchester was involved in Dukat’s death, but he was found guilty in another case related to a young girl’s attempted abduction that also happened in the 1980s.
The breakthrough in Dukat’s case came the same week as another cold case breakthrough in central Ohio. In that case, investigators arrested the living suspect, Robert Edwards, who is accused of murdering two different women in 1991 and 1996.
Watch a 2011 report by NBC4 that revisited Dukat’s cold case below: