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Alabama cold case body identified as Santa Barbara resident after 26 years

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – An intentionally mutilated body discovered on Apr. 15, 1997, in Marshall County Alabama has been identified on Wednesday as Jefferey Douglas Kimzy, 20, of Santa Barbara.

Marshall County Sheriff's Office made the update during a press conference and in a press release on Wednesday.

Initially, the body was identified as a white male, but due to the removal of the head, hands, and feet, technology at the time was unable to provide more information.

Marshall County Sheriff's Office indicate that mutilation is consistent with intentional forensic countermeasures and an autopsy result at the time indicated the manner of death was a homicide.

“Someone went to great lengths to hide the identity of our victim and the cause of his death,” said then-Chief Investigator Keith Wilson.

The body was originally discovered in a wooded area along Little Cotaco Creek near Union Grove, Alabama partially decomposed leading to the belief by investigators her was transported to the area after his murder.

“The victim’s feet were bound by rope and then around the scene, they found other pieces of rope,” Wilson detailed.

Investigators with the Marshall County Sheriff's Office and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation were unsuccessful in their attempts to follow-up with leads and to identify the body.

The case was then referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP) where the case eventually went cold.

In November of 2019, Sheriff Sims and then-Chief Investigator Keith Wilson contacted Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company, to attempt a new identification of the body.

Parabon NanoLans utilized a process called DNA Phenotyping to determine physical characteristics that were unavailable previously.

The items discovered at the scene are also having the same process applied to potentially discover additional information.

After a release of an updated photo of the victim was released in 2021, genealogical matches led investigators to Kimzy's parents in California in 2022.

A DNA test from both parents led to the positive identification of Kimzy announced on Wednesday.

If anyone has information about this case, they are asked to contact the Marshall County Sheriff's Office at 256-582-2034.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
Alabama Bureau of Investigation
cold case
crime and courts
FBI Violent Criminal Apprehension Program
Marshall County
Marshall County Sheriff's Office
Santa Barbara

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Andrew Gillies

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