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St. Paul Park police opens cold case

ST. PAUL PARK — The. St. Paul Park Police Department has reopened an archived kidnapping and sexual assault case from 1986.

An officer found the still-active case while repackaging the evidence bag, which had been damaged due to age.

The case involved the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 3 ½-year-old girl in summer 1986.

This case is one of the few like it they have around, and have kept it due to the statute of limitations based on the type of case.

"Because it entailed a kidnapping of a juvenile, we kept it," she said.

An analysis completed by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension at the time found no semen on any of the items, but the department has sent it in to see if any DNA can be located on the evidence.

In the 31 years since the case was originally investigated, forensic science has made great strides. In the '80s, Chief Jessica Danberg, the BCA could only test of the presence of semen and blood.

"The testing is very different," she said. "This is one additional step since this is available to us."

This time around, they are hoping to capture DNA evidence.

If nothing is found, the case will be inactive again.

"There's not much more that we can do with this without the DNA," Danbeg said. "We wouldn't have anything new."

There are other obstacles to reopening a case like this, Danberg said.

The department is no longer in touch with the victim, and since the case happening is over 30 years old, it's possible anyone involved could have moved or deceased in that time.

"Hopefully we'll come up with something," Danberg said. "We might be reopening a can of worms, but on the same note we might get some closure."