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Unsolved: The Long Shadow of Fawn Cox's Murder

A 31-Year Journey Through Suspicion, Consequences, and the Quest for Justice

By Aafreen AliPublished about a month ago 5 min read

A 16-year-old girl, who lived in the same house as her parents and younger sisters, went to sleep in her room and the next morning, she was found dead. It took the police 31 years to finally solve the case, but no one was prepared for this turn of events.

Fawn Cox was born on March 24, 1973, in Kansas City, Missouri. The family lived modestly in a small, two-story house. Fawn was responsible from an early age, helping her parents care for her younger siblings, attending church, and enjoying swimming. At 16, she took a part-time job at a local amusement park to contribute financially.

On July 26, 1989, after finishing her work shift around 10 p.m., Fawn was driven home by her mother and sister. That night, she went straight to bed to rest for work the next day. The following morning, Fawn did not wake up to turn off her alarm. Her mother and sister found her unresponsive with signs of strangulation. Emergency services were called, but Fawn had already passed away. The medical examination confirmed strangulation as the cause of death.

On the night Fawn Cox was murdered in her own room, her family, who lived in the house with poor soundproofing, heard nothing, likely due to the loud air conditioner on the first floor. The family poodle's anxious barking that night went disregarded; the dog was pregnant, which they assumed was the cause of its behavior.

Police investigation suggested the perpetrator(s) entered through a second-story window accessible via an old trailer and the adjoining outbuilding's canopy. In Fawn's room, short hairs, blood stains, and traces of semen indicated important clues, which were sent for lab analysis. Stolen items including a Nintendo console and a stereo recorder were found discarded outside the house, suggesting interrupted burglary attempts.

Detectives found that the intruder may have waited in a closet in the adjoining Bedroom, where her sister usually slept. An unfamiliar army cap, potentially belonging to the killer, was also found in Fawn's room. Despite extensive evidence, the police struggled to identify suspects due to the limitations of DNA forensics in 1989 and the lack of genetic databases.

Detective Benjamin Caldwell believed there were multiple assailants who knew the house's layout well. Police canvassed the neighborhood thoroughly, interviewing residents, friends, and relatives, though without conclusive leads. The impoverished and crime-riddled neighborhood presented additional challenges to finding justice.

A month after Fawn Cox's murder, the case made progress when a witness identified three teenage suspects, one of whom was a classmate of Fawn's. They were arrested after items from the victim's home were found in one suspect's residence. Initially charged with murder, the case faced setbacks when the witness recanted their story and DNA evidence failed to unambiguously match the suspects due to the limitations of forensic technology at that time.

Despite the inconclusive DNA results, one detainee confessed to breaking into Fawn's house, stealing items, and providing details of the crime. However, this admission was quickly retracted, preventing its use in court. Without reliable testimony, the suspects were released, and the case stalled. It's suspected that witnesses were intimidated. The only sure outcome from this phase of the investigation was the imprisonment of one individual for eight months due to theft from Fawn's home.

Years after Fawn Cox's murder, in the early 2000s police uploaded the DNA evidence to the CODIS database, with no matches found. Later testing definitively proved that DNA from the crime scene did not match the three suspects who were initially linked to the case due to the stolen items found in their possession. The possibility of an additional, unidentified perpetrator was considered by detectives. Despite these efforts, the case stalled and the Cox family's hope for resolution diminished, with the DNA sample in the police lab remaining as their only hope for new leads.

In 2018, Amber, Fawn Cox's sister, shared details about the murder on a reputable unsolved crimes forum. Despite her input, the case remained unsolved. That year, advancements in DNA research led to the resolution of many cold cases. The Cox family, frustrated with the slow pace of the investigation, launched a fundraiser in 2019 to pay for advanced DNA testing and offered a reward for information. They raised the necessary funds, but the police were reluctant to proceed, citing fairness to other families seeking justice and the limited capacity of specialized DNA testing labs, such as Parabon NanoLabs. The Cox family suspected that their socio-economic status contributed to the lack of priority given to Fawn's case.

Unfortunately, they never managed to expedite the process and it wasn't until late 2020 that the long-awaited Breakthrough happened the family wasn't ready for that kind of Truth with funding from the FBI the police did send samples from Fawn's room to a lab there they began a detailed examination of the DNA and a search for the possible relative of its possessors it was the semen sample found at the murder scene that they mostly worked with.

In November 2020They are finally able to find the person to whom that DNA belonged it turned out to be fawn's cousin Donald Cox of course such news shocked the whole family at the time of fawn's death Donald was 21 years old and no one had even considered his possible involvement that said Donald was a pretty Troubled Man and was constantly behind bars he was tried for misdemeanors such as theft and possession of illegal substances unfortunately in those years they did not yet take a DNA sample from such criminals otherwise this case would have been solved much earlier Donald died of an overdose in 2006 but the police investigated his death because certain circumstances seemed suspicious to them it was because of that investigation that a sample of his DNA was preserved but it was not entered into the FBI database because the man in that case was a victim not a perpetrator once the experts informed the police of their Discovery they matched the sample with the semen found at the murder scene and got a 100 match despite the gravity of this discovery the relatives have received an answer to a question that has plagued them for 31 years but there remained one very important point in the whole story a great deal of evidence indicated that the three original suspects had also been in the Fawn house that night it was now becoming clear how the perpetrators knew the house and the family's routines so precisely Donald was a frequent visitor and knew all these nuances .

The police closed the case without filing new charges against the three men. Fawn's sisters felt there was no point in pursuing a confession from them, as they might not have witnessed the murder. Donald, one of the suspects, may have been alone in the house when the attack occurred. Felicia stated that the suspects had already faced consequences due to the community's belief in their guilt, suffering from negative treatment. It was later revealed that the police had initially been tipped off about the suspects by one of their family members who noticed a stolen Nintendo set-top box among their belongings. Despite widespread suspicion, it was impossible to prove their guilt.

After the case was closed, it was discovered that one of the suspects had lived for 17 years without facing punishment. However, his life eventually spiraled due to drug addiction, leading to his death. This brought an end to any threat he posed.


About the Creator

Aafreen Ali

"Explore captivating articles igniting curiosity, from incisive commentary to poignant narratives. Join the journey, challenge convention, and revel in the magic of storytelling."

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  • Sajid Bangash15 days ago

    It's so crulty

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