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Tags: montana | cold case | murder

Double Murder Solved After 45 Years

Double Murder Solved After 45 Years

By    |   Wednesday, 27 March 2019 11:58 AM

Investigators have finally solved a 1973 double murder cold case thanks to a public genealogy database that helped them link a man to the gruesome and perplexing killings.

For more than four decades authorities have been chasing dead-end leads in a desperate attempt to solve the murder of Clifford and Linda Bernhardt.

According to Inside Edition, the couple were slain four years after their wedding day. Both were 24-years-old at the time. Linda's mother discovered their bodies after forcing her way into their home when they failed to show up for a work project.

Clifford was facedown in pool of blood in the master bedroom while his wife was in another bedroom, also facedown. Both had been strangled and authorities believed Linda had been sexually assaulted.

At the time, no motive was determined but investigators said it was possible that the victims knew the killer personally, revealed Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder.

In 2004 investigators discovered DNA on evidence they had obtained from the crime scene and, while it did not yield any matches, it did help them to eliminate 80 suspects, Inside Edition noted.

A decade later DNA technology company Parabon NanoLabs produced a composite sketch of the suspect and also searched through a public genealogy database for any relatives. They got lucky.

The process put investigators onto Cecil Stand Caldwell, who worked with Linda. After eliminating all of his living relatives as possible suspects, investigators landed on him as the sole suspect.

Caldwell died in 2003 and while a motive has still not been established, authorities believe Linda was the target and that Caldwell was likely behind the murders.

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TheWire
Investigators have finally solved a 1973 double murder cold case thanks to a public genealogy database that helped them link a man to the gruesome and perplexing killings.
montana, cold case, murder
272
2019-58-27
Wednesday, 27 March 2019 11:58 AM
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