, 2022-10-19 02:00:00,
Nearly three decades ago, the killing of 72-year-old Claire “Kay” Holman shook the small desert town of Borrego Springs.
Holman, a widow and retired hairdresser, was found dead in her home one night in March 1994. She had been strangled with a rope or cord.
Over time the case went cold.
But a man’s DNA, collected from a strand of hair recovered at the crime scene, and genetic genealogy recently led investigators to the identity of the killer, officials announced Monday.
Investigators say Jerry Dewayne Robison killed Holman. Robison died in 2007 after a battle with cancer. He was 64.
At the time of the killing, Robison, then 51, lived in Borrego Springs and worked as a plumber, according to the county Sheriff’s Department. Investigators believe he worked for Holman occasionally, sheriff’s Lt. Chris Steffen said.
The lieutenant added that investigators suspect the killing involved a robbery and sexual assault.
The development marks the sixth time sheriff’s cold-case investigators have identified a killer with the help of genetic genealogy, a technique that employs DNA to come up with family ties in an effort to zero in on a suspect.
Holman lived in Borrego Springs on and off for decades and once owned and ran a hair salon in town, according to Union-Tribune archives.
A friend who stopped by to deliver her mail found her dead in her home on Tilting T Drive…
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