Wichita Police Department & the FBI Partner with Othram to Identify the Suspect in the 1989 Murder of Krista Martin

After 34 years, Paul Hart has been identified as the suspect in the murder of 20-year-old Krista Martin.

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Published October 02, 2023 by Michael Vogen
Media Inquiries


In October 1989, the body of twenty-year-old Krista Martin was found beaten to death in her Wichita, Kansas apartment located on South Osage Street. A concerned friend visited her home in the early hours of October 2, 1989, and discovered Krista. Wichita Police Department responded to the scene of the crime and began their investigation. It was determined that Krista died from blunt force trauma to the back, left side of her head. Initial investigative efforts included the collection of DNA evidence. Although DNA testing and the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) systems were not available at the time, the DNA evidence was carefully preserved.

Despite conducting numerous interviews and analyzing the available evidence, investigators were unable to identify a suspect. Undeterred, investigators continued to scrutinize the evidence and gather new leads. DNA samples were collected from multiple individuals for comparison with the evidence from the scene, but no match was found. In 2009, DNA evidence from the crime scene was submitted to the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center, resulting in the development of a potential suspect profile. This profile was uploaded to CODIS, but it did not lead to any matches. Further DNA sampling from potential suspects also proved unsuccessful. Despite law enforcement’s extensive efforts to identify the suspect, the case went cold.

In 2020, the Wichita Police Department in collaboration with the FBI, teamed with Othram to determine if advanced DNA testing could help to identify the person responsible and forensic evidence was sent to Othram’s laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas for advanced DNA testing. Using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing®, Othram’s scientists developed a comprehensive DNA profile for the unknown individual. After successfully completing the process, the DNA profile was delivered to the FBI's forensic genetic genealogy team and the FBI team performed the necessary work to generate new investigative leads.

In 2021, a team consisting of a Wichita Police Homicide Detective and an FBI Special Agent embarked on a journey to Alabama and Arkansas, collaborating with additional Federal Agents working in Maryland. Their mission was to conduct extensive interviews and gather additional evidence to break the case. Finally, in April 2023, a possible suspect, Paul Hart, was identified. It was discovered that Hart died in a traffic collision in Memphis, Tennessee in March of 1999. In June of 2023, the Wichita Police Department homicide detective and FBI Special Agent traveled to Arkansas, where they collected additional DNA samples from direct relatives of Paul Hart for further analysis.

In collaboration with the FBI, Othram and the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center, Wichita Police Department investigators were able to utilize forensic genetic genealogy techniques to confirm that Paul Hart was the suspect in the 1989 homicide of Krista Martin. Upon presenting the facts of the case to Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett, it was determined that charges would be filed if Mr. Hart were still alive. As he is deceased, this case is now considered cleared.

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Michael Vogen

Michael Vogen

Director of Case Management

2829 Technology Forest Blvd Suite 100, The Woodlands, Texas 77381

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.

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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 ... Read morerecovery, 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.