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Monday
Aug082011

FBI Says DNA Doesn't Match in D.B. Cooper Case

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI says DNA found on D.B. Cooper's clip-on tie and DNA taken from the daughter of suspect L.D. Cooper is “not a match.” However, FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt says “that doesn’t suggest that the current lead is a dead end.”

“It’s possible that the DNA sample taken off the tie was not from the hijacker," Gutt told ABC News. "There are questions about the tie -- it may have been borrowed or purchased used. The DNA may be from someone else."  

Gutt also says, “The tie had two small DNA samples, and one large sample lifted off in 2000-2001. It’s difficult to draw firm conclusions from these samples.”

When asked if the "no match" finding damaged Marla Cooper’s credibility, Gutt replied it did not. Marla Cooper recently came forward claiming to be the niece of infamous hijacker D.B. Cooper.

“We haven’t come up with anything that is inconsistent with her story,” he said.

What the FBI really needs to make the case, Gutt said, is a fingerprint from L.D. Cooper to match against fingerprints found on the hijacked plane.

“We are working with surviving family members to try to identify objects he may have handled," Gutt said.

Since L.D. Cooper died in 1999, that may prove to be an impossible task, but the FBI is planning to revisit Marcia Cooper, L.D.’s widow, who lives in Sparks, Nev., to see if they can find anything that may still hold L.D’s prints.  

“Without fingerprints,” Gutt said, “we just have circumstantial evidence.”  He said exhuming L.D’s body to obtain DNA would do no good, since “we have nothing certain to compare it to.”

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