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DNA Leads Detectives to Suspect In 1980 Belltown Cold Case Homicide

After more than 35 years, Seattle police have solved the murder of James Buss, who was found dead by a relative in his apartment in Belltown on April 8th, 1980.  Buss had been stabbed in the chest and sustained other severe trauma.  His death was ruled a homicide and his apartment appeared to have been ransacked.  The original responding detectives and analysts also recovered physical evidence from the scene.

In 2002, detectives requested a first round of DNA testing, a science unavailable at the time of the homicide.  An initial suspect profile was identified but was not matched with anyone.  In late 2015, detectives served a warrant on a person of interest in which they collected his DNA.  Further analysis on that DNA by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab matched DNA left at the homicide in 1980.

Yesterday, almost thirty-six years after the crime, homicide detectives arrested the 50-year-old suspect (he was 14 years old at the time of the crime) at his residence.  The suspect was booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Murder.  Homicide detectives will continue their investigation.