San Diego Police, DNA technology solves grisly 25-year-old cold case

Posted at 2:31 PM, Apr 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-14 21:05:44-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Police Friday announced they have solved a cold case homicide after 25 years.

City officials said in a news conference that thanks to the "tenacity of a reserve SDPD detective and the use of cutting-edge DNA science," authorities have deemed Jeffrey Falls responsible for the murder for 84-year-old Angela Kleinsorge in February 1992.

Falls, who lived across the street from Kleinsorge, died in a 2006 motorcycle crash. Through a procedure called familial DNA testing, police were able to narrow their search to him.

Familial DNA results pointed investigators to a convicted offender who had died. However, the results showed there was a high likelihood a relative of that convict was responsible for killing Kleinsorge.

"The results of this testing has brought a measure of closure to the victim’s family more than two decades after her murder," San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said. "While familial DNA testing remains fairly rare in the U.S., this is an excellent example of how law enforcement can use the science as a way to propel an investigation forward and solve more crimes."

Authorities found that convict had two brothers: one who was alive and Jeffrey Falls. After ruling out the brother who was alive, investigators tested a tissue sample belonging to Falls from the city coroner. The DNA collected from that sample matched a sample collected at the scene of the murder.

Police said Kleinsorge was found dead at her home in the 5000 block of Gaines Street, with her throat slashed and appeared to be sexually assaulted. She also had knife wounds to her hands, according to SDPD Lt. Paul Ybarrondo.

Kleinsorge, a native of Germany who had lived in San Diego for more than half a century, was found when her daughter dropped by to visit.

The murder shocked nearby residents, who live just a half-mile away from the University of San Diego campus in Linda Vista.

"This is a very fine, very middle-class neighborhood where most people have lived for 30 years or more," said one longtime resident of the area.

"To murder another person is one of the most despicable crimes imaginable," Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said. "When it happens, our homicide unit works tirelessly to identify, apprehend, and hold accountable those responsible for committing this unthinkable crime. I would like to thank Cold Case Detective Holly Irwin who worked tirelessly in collaboration with the District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Justice to identify Angela Kleinsorge’s killer who remained unknown for over two decades."