Investigators Finally Solve 62-Year-Old Case

Investigators Finally Solve 62-Year-Old Case

( – On the afternoon of March 6, 1959, nine-year-old Candice “Candy” Elaine Rogers was selling Camp Fire Girls mint patties in her Spokane neighborhood. She left her home that afternoon and disappeared. A couple of weeks later, a search led to the discovery of her murdered corpse hidden under some tree limbs and pine needles. Police investigators never gave up on finding her murderer until they eventually solved the case.

Thanks to technological advancements, investigators successfully retrieved a DNA sample from Rogers’ clothing roughly four decades after her murder. Detectives eliminated a suspect using that testing but could not turn up a match in a federal DNA database.

Spokane detectives decided to try again and resubmitted the DNA sample to a Texas-based DNA lab specializing in emerging science known as forensic genealogy. The lab created a genetic profile from the sample and narrowed the suspects down to three brothers who lived in Spokane at the time of Rogers’ disappearance.

Investigators reached out to the daughter of one of the suspects, John Reigh Hoff. Cathie Hoff agreed to submit a DNA sample to help investigators to confirm the lab’s findings. Analysts determined Cathie Hoff was a genetic match to Rogers’ murderer and Spokane detectives obtained a search warrant to obtain samples from John Hoff’s exhumed remains.

On November 19, the Spokane police officials announced they solved the case after DNA testing showed Hoff murdered Rogers. Although he died by his own hand in 1970, detectives hope solving the case will bring some comfort to Rogers’ family members.

Copyright 2021,