Wichita police said Monday they have identified a suspect in a 1989 murder.
20-year-old Krista Martin was found dead in her apartment in the 500 block of South Osage on October 2nd, 1989, a day after she was reported missing. Police said she died of blunt force trauma to the back left side of her head, but a weapon was not found.
Police announced Monday that the suspect was identified as Paul Hart, who died in a traffic accident in Memphis, Tennessee in March, 1999. Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said police provided him with material from the investigation, and he said charges would have been filed in the case if Hart were still alive.
Police said they identified the suspect through advanced DNA testing and forensic genetic genealogy. A DNA profile of a possible suspect was developed in 2009 by the Sedgwick County Forensic Science Center, but no matches were found at that time. The Wichita Police Department contacted the FBI in 2020 to review the evidence with advanced technology, and a team worked on interviews and evidence collection in 2021. DNA samples were taken from Hart’s relatives, and that led to confirm the suspect’s identity.