DNA technology cracks 39-year-old cold case

An arrest has been made in the case of Michelle Martinko being killed in a mall parking lot.
2:10 | 12/20/18

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Transcript for DNA technology cracks 39-year-old cold case
We'll switch gears and talk about an arrest in a cold case thanks to cutting-edge DNA technology happening 39 years to the day after 18-year-old Michelle martinko was killed in a parking lot at a mall. The suspect is now expected in court today and ABC's Whitaker is right here with more. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning to you. This cold case murdered cedar Rapids for nearly four decades. The suspect identified use the to the same that helped in another case. She was found stabbed to death in her buick and had gone to the mall after a choir banquet to buy a coat. Her parents didn't get to see it and her sister is still alive and well and it's great to hear those words. They caught him. Unmatched for nearly ten years until late last year when labs created 3-d models and cops say 64-year-old Jerry Lynn burns was arrested on suspicion of murder thanks in part to that breakthrough. The police department later collected covert DNA from a subject. The collected DNA was a match. Reporter: The lab says it also helped narrow down the pool of suspects by uploading his DNA to a public genealogy database identifying distant relatives, a technique that led to a number of high president bush arrests. This is a breakthrough in crime solving. With these techniques we can help eliminate a lot of that and allow law enforcement to focus in more quickly on the right people. Reporter: Police say the suspect denied committing the alleged killing but was unable to offer an explanation why his DNA was found at the crime scene. Ginger is at the wall. Amy, sorry.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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