A 1982 homicide case was solved by Columbus Police with the help of a DNA Database

It took around 38 years for the murder mystery of an 8-years-old Kelly Ann Prosser to get solved. She was kidnapped on her way home from the Indianola Elementary School located in Columbus and murdered as well. Now her family does know what happened.

Prosser was kidnapped on September 20, 1982. Her deceased body was discovered in Plain City, after two days of her abduction. She was physically assaulted, beaten, and strangled to death.

On Friday, the Columbus police discovered a matching DNA of the murderer and confirmed it to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The person who killed Prosser was identified as Harold Warren Jarrell.

Unfortunately, according to the records Warren Jarrell died in 1996 when he was 67-years-old. Therefore, he was 53 during the kidnapping of Prosser. No other evidence was found linking him to any other crime in Columbus, according to the Police.

A 1982 homicide case was solved by Columbus Police with the help of a DNA Database
A 1982 homicide case was solved by Columbus Police with the help of a DNA Database

Prosser’s case was investigated for almost 3 decades, while the Columbus homicide detectives looked for an answer. Between 2019 to 2020 the Department began to work with a genealogy company, Advanced DNA and used their technique to identify the DNA from the crime scene that happened in 1982 to get a match. The same technique was used in other cases in the country, including the Golden State Killer case from California.

The Deputy Chief Greg Bodker said, “I don’t know that his (Jarrell) name would’ve come up without the DNA.” “Jarrell was not on our radar at all as someone who committed this murder,” the Deputy continued.

According to Deputy Bodker, Jarrell was arrested and convicted in 1977 related to a sex crime that also involved a child in Columbus for which he had to spend 5 years in jail.

Detective Croom took over the case completely in the year 2016 since he was linked to the Prosser family. At a press conference, Croom said, “Couldn’t believe it when we got the match. I was numb, and I teared up a little bit.”

According to Bodker, throughout the murder investigation, Jarrell never fell under their radar of suspicion. During the time of Prosser’s murder, it came to one of the detectives that might be a chance that Jarrell might be involved, but unfortunately at that time, there was no evidence to link him to this case.

Jarrell’s family cooperated with the investigation, Bodker said.




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Jagriti Singh
Hello there, I am Jagriti, and I have an educational background in engineering. At present I am pursuing my final semester of M.Tech in the field of Biotechnology from KIIT University. I have travelled to many places in India as well as abroad including country like Norway during my curriculum which helped me to gain a deep and better insight of the world around me. Science and technology has always fascinated me and therefore I always keep myself updated with the latest discoveries and innovations going on around the world. Apart from that, I always keep digging around the current affairs and latest news updates out of curiosity. I have contributed as an author in 2 scientific research articles which is going to be published by International scientific journals soon.