FORT WORTH -- Homicide detectives with the Fort Worth Police Department are using advanced DNA technology to help solve the murder of an 11-year-old girl that took place more than three decades ago.
On June 27, 1983, Julie Fuller disappeared from the Kensington Motel in Arlington after taking out the trash, police said. Her nude body was found the next day in Fort Worth, and her killer has never been found.
She’d only been in the United States for a few weeks when it all went wrong.
“I don't remember it being a very special day,” said Lee Fuller. “We spent a lot of time in the swimming pool.”
On June 27, 1983, the day turned out to be the last day Lee Fuller would ever see his little sister Julie.
His family had just moved from England to Arlington. They were living in what was then known as the Kensington Motel on West Division.
Detective Tom O’Brien says the little girl’s body was found the next day in Fort Worth off Handley-Ederville Road. She’d been strangled and raped.
“This is one that has stuck with detectives for generations,” O’Brien said.
In the more than 30 years police have been investigating this crime, they eliminated hundreds of potential suspects. What they did have was DNA evidence.
Biological fluid left at the scene has now led them to this: three images of what the suspect might have looked like based on his DNA profile at age 25, 45 and 65. The company behind the sketches, Parabon Nanolabs, believes based on the DNA, the suspect is of Northern European descent, has blue or green eyes, blond or brown hair and freckles.
It’s a relatively new technology Fort Worth has never used before. They're now using it another case in which a victim hasn’t been identified, O’Brien said.
“Gives me a lot of hope,” O’Brien said.
O’Brien said the department doesn’t know how old the suspect was when he killed Julie, but the sketches should help. He urges anyone to come forward if they recognize the person, whether the person lived in DFW or not.
Other examples on the lab’s website show how close their sketches have been to the actual person they were looking for.
“Seeing the results is actually shocking,” Lee Fuller said.
Fuller, who spoke to us from his home in Virginia, wants closure on his sister’s murder.
“I’m really, really hoping someone recognizes this person,” he said—a person who’s evaded justice for nearly 35 years.
If you have any information call (817) 392-4338.