A 16-year-old girl residing with her parents and younger sisters was discovered dead in her room the morning after she went to sleep. The police immediately recognized it as a murder case, but none of her family members heard anything during the night. It took 31 years to finally solve the case, and the turn of events caught everyone off guard.
Fawn Cox was born on March 24, 1973, in Kansas City, Missouri. She grew up with her parents and two younger sisters in a small two-story house located in a rough residential neighborhood. Fawn was a responsible girl who helped take care of her siblings, regularly attended church, and enjoyed swimming. At the age of 16, she got a part-time job at a local amusement park to earn some extra money for her family. During the summer vacations of 1989, she mostly worked at the amusement park, selling tickets behind the cash register.
On July 26th, after finishing her shift around 10 pm, Fawn's mother and younger sister picked her up in the car as public transportation would have taken too long. Upon returning home, Fawn went to bed immediately since she had to work again the next morning. She slept on the second floor, in her own room, while her sisters usually slept in the adjacent room. However, that night, Fawn was alone on the floor.
The next morning, the whole family woke up to the sound of the alarm clock in Fawn's room, but she didn't turn it off. Her younger sister and mother went up to her room and discovered a horrifying sight. Fawn was lying on the bed, lifeless, with visible bruises on her neck. She had no pulse, and it was apparent that she had passed away several hours earlier. Medical experts determined that strangulation was the cause of death and that she had also been sexually assaulted.
Despite Fawn being killed in her own room in a small house with poor soundproofing, her parents and sister heard nothing. The old and noisy air conditioner on the first floor likely masked any other noise in the house. The only unusual behavior that night was observed by Fawn's sister—their poodle was anxious and barking, but they didn't pay much attention to it, attributing it to the dog being pregnant.
The police investigation uncovered important discoveries. They theorized that the attacker or group of attackers entered the house through a second-story window overlooking the backyard. An old trailer parked near the house provided easy access to the window, as it was almost level with it. The window had been left open due to the lack of air conditioning on the second floor. In Fawn's room, experts found crucial clues, including short hairs, blood stains, and traces of semen on her bedsheet. Several items were missing from the house, such as radios, a Nintendo game console, and a stereo recorder. Oddly, some of the stolen items were found on the ground outside the house, as if the burglar had thrown them out the window but left them behind for unknown reasons.
Further investigation revealed that various items had been removed from a closet in an adjoining room on the second floor. It was believed that the perpetrator had hidden in the closet, waiting for everyone in the house to go to sleep. However, since Fawn's sister didn't sleep in that room that night, nobody noticed the missing items.
The police found another peculiar clue—an old army cap in Fawn's room that her relatives claimed she had never worn. Detectives speculated that the killer might have left the cap behind accidentally. Despite the array of evidence, the police struggled to identify the suspects quickly. DNA forensics were underdeveloped in 1989, and there were no common genetic databases at the time.