30-Year Unsolved Murder Cracked With DNA Breakthrough


Decades-Old Murder Mystery Solved: DNA Unlocks the Truth

The Ventura County Police Department has cracked a cold case that had haunted investigators for three long decades. The victim, Danielle Clause, a 42-year-old woman, was brutally murdered in 1991, leaving behind a trail of unanswered questions.

A Body on the Hillside

On July 16, 1991, Clause’s lifeless body was discovered on a desolate hillside in Ventura. The autopsy revealed the horrifying truth: she had endured a sexual assault and suffered multiple blunt-force injuries to her head, ultimately causing her death.

Decades of Darkness

Despite tireless efforts, the case went cold as leads dried up and time slipped away. However, in 2021, a ray of hope emerged from the depths of advancements in DNA technology.

The Breakthrough

Forensic specialists reopened the case and re-examined crucial evidence using forensic genetic genealogy, a technique unavailable in the 1990s. By piecing together family trees and employing phenotyping, they unveiled the distinct characteristics of the alleged perpetrator.

A Suspect Emerges

Their meticulous research pointed investigators towards Larry Devon Welch, a man who had eluded justice for far too long. Armed with this newly discovered evidence, the Ventura County Police Department identified Welch as their prime suspect.

Unraveling the Mystery

The authorities released a gripping video recounting the case, featuring interviews with original investigators, present-day detectives, and Clause’s grieving family members. Their collective account sheds light on the complexities of the investigation and the profound impact the crime had on their lives.

Seeking Resolution

The case remains open as authorities continue to gather evidence and prepare for prosecution. For those who have suffered losses to unsolved cold cases, this breakthrough offers solace and a glimmer of hope that even the most challenging mysteries can be unraveled with time.

Honoring the Victim

While justice cannot erase the pain of losing Danielle Clause, it can bring closure to her family and friends. Her tragic death serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of seeking truth and holding accountable those who perpetrate such heinous acts.

Those with any information regarding this case or other unsolved cold cases are urged to contact the Ventura County Police Department at coldcase@venturapd.org.