NORTH PALM BEACH, FL - September 8, 2020 - According to an online news report posted on cbs12.com, a can of Busch provided law enforcement with a crucial piece of evidence that they needed to make an arrest in a 1990 North Palm Beach murder case. The suspect, a 57-year-old man, was arrested and is now accused of murdering a 68-year-old man back on June 29, 1990.
On June 29, 1990, law enforcement discovered the 68-year-old man's dead body in a chair. The victim had a deep puncture cut to his neck, which resulted in the man's death. For over 30 years, law enforcement was unable to crack the case. The crime scene investigators discovered a can of Busch beer on a table next to the victim's dead body. The table was covered in the victim's blood, but not the Busch beer can. Investigators examined the beer can, and they believed that the suspect likely put the beer can on the table after the victim had been stabbed in the neck. Law enforcement also recovered a notepad with handwritten entries, including numerous dates. One page on June 26 stated, "Mark birthday." Another page has a handwritten entry that stated "Mark, Phoenix House," and the entry added a Michigan address and the numbers "179-237."
The North Palm Beach murder case went cold until the North Palm Beach Police established a special cold case investigation unit in 2018. The cold case investigation unit looks at old, unsolved cases. Investigators sent the Busch beer can in for DNA testing. According to the arrest report, authorities stated that they received a match with the DNA from the beer car. The DNA match is a man named Mark from Michigan. So the note in the notepad about a "Mark" seemed to match the DNA match. Upon further investigation of the suspect, Mark was an inmate at a state prison called the Phoenix House. The suspect's inmate number was "179-237." The suspect was also paroled in 1990, before the date of the 68-year-old man's murder. All of these items matched the handwritten notes discovered in the victim's home, along with the DNA that pointed to the suspect.
The suspect had moved to the State of Ohio, and investigators went to the suspect's house to obtain a DNA sample from the suspect. According to the suspect's arrest report, the suspect denied that he knew the victim or that he had been inside the home of the victim. However, the suspect allowed the investigators to collect a DNA swab sample to the investigators, and the DNA was a match with the DNA found on the can of Busch beer left at the murder scene.
The suspect was arrested, booked, and is being held on a second-degree murder charge. According to law enforcement, there does not seem to be a clear motive for the murder, although the suspect and the victim knew each other.