DNA helps police find suspect in murder cold case, 16 years later

Written by Bethany Ricciardi

ALCONA, Mich. (WBKB) — The Alcona County Sheriff’s Office and Michigan State Police have made significant progress in a cold case homicide.

According to Crime Stoppers, they’ve found a suspect in a murder that took place 16 years ago.

In March of 2000 the body of 39-year-old Patricia Lenee Leeper was found in an Alcona County ditch near Curran, Michigan.

She was a resident of Flint, Michigan at the time which is approximately 150 miles south of where her body was found. It was determined that she was a victim of a homicide. She was known to be involved in prostitution and suffered from drug addiction.

Since the finding of Leeper’s body, the Alcona county sheriff’s office and MSP have continued to investigate her death in the hope of identifying her killer.

DNA evidence associated with the crime scene and the unknown killer was collected and added to the Combined DNA Index System.

Over the past 16 years since the homicide, investigators developed several persons of interest and submitted their DNA for comparison on this case. However none of those persons were a match for the DNA profile of the unknown killer.

But in April of this year, investigators were notified that an association had now been made with a subject whose DNA was recently submitted on a felony arrest and conviction.

It was confirmed that he was a match for the unknown male DNA from the crime scene and victim. This person has now become the focus of the investigation and is the prime suspect in the death of Leeper.

Authorities are reluctant to release the name, but they did state he is described as being a light–skinned bi–racial male, now 40-years-old.

It’s known he has ties to both Flint and Curran and he is currently incarcerated on unrelated charges.