Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Othram Partner to Identify 1979 Murderer of Kim Bryant

Advanced DNA testing has revealed Johnny Peterson as the suspected perpetrator in the brutal murder of a 16-year-old Las Vegas teen

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Published November 29, 2021 by Michael Vogen
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Summary

In January 1979, 16-year-old high school student Kim Bryant was abducted in broad daylight from a Dairy Queen restaurant on North Decatur Boulevard, near U.S. Highway 95. The restaurant was across from Kim's school and Kim had arrived with a friend to the restaurant before it opened. She had been reportedly waiting for a ride from her boyfriend when she vanished. It would be a month later when she was finally found in a desert area near West Charleston Boulevard and South Buffalo Drive. She had been brutally sexually assaulted and murdered.

Over the years, a lengthy investigation ensued, spanning decades, and all available investigative leads were exhausted. Although there were various theories and persons of interest, the case ultimately stalled and Kim's killer remained undiscovered. More recently, a STR profile was generated from DNA evidence and revealed an unknown male (not found in CODIS), but the profile was valuable in excluding persons of interest.

In 2021, as part of a continued collaboration between LVMPD and Othram, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department worked with Othram to reexamine DNA evidence from the crime scene in hopes that advanced DNA testing might generate new leads in the investigation. Funding assistance was generously provided by Justin Woo, founder of the non-profit organization Vegas Helps.

Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a genealogical profile from the crime scene DNA evidence. The Othram genealogy team used the profile to develop investigative leads that were returned to LVMPD. LVMPD detectives were able to confirm the identity of the suspect in Kim's sexual assault and murder as Johnny Peterson. Peterson died in January 1993. An investigation continues into the case and into Peterson's possible relationship to other crimes in the area.

Updates

Kim's killer is linked to a 1983 unsolved sex assault & murder

December 07, 2021

LVMPD Investigators announced that they have solved another cold case sex assault and murder, linked to the same suspect from the Kim Bryant case. In 1983, 22-year-old Diana Hanson was reported missing after she failed to return home on New Years Eve. Her body was found later that same day on West Spring Mountain Road. The autopsy revealed that she had been sexually assaulted.

An STR profile was developed from crime scene DNA but never matched to an assailant. Based on a tip that surfaced after the announcement of the Kim Bryant case solve, investigators went back to compare the unknown male profile in both cases and found that there was a match.


Michael Vogen

Michael Vogen

Director of Case Management

(832) 906-4247
8301 New Trails Dr Ste 110, The Woodlands, TX 77381
media@othram.com

Michael works with law enforcement agencies throughout the United States and Canada on “unsolvable“ cases that can benefit from advanced DNA testing methods. He helps these agencies use cutting edge DNA sequencing and new forensic techniques to develop investigative leads for their cases.

About Othram Inc.

Othram is the world’s first private DNA laboratory built specifically to apply the power of modern parallel sequencing to forensic evidence. Othram’s scientists are experts at recovery, enrichment, and analysis of human DNA from trace quantities of degraded or contaminated materials. Founded in 2018, and located in The Woodlands, Texas, our team works with academic researchers, forensic scientists, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies to achieve results when other approaches have failed. Follow Othram on Twitter @OthramTech or visit Othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case. With dnasolves.com anyone can make a difference and help solve the next cold case.

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