News

Former Pasco officer named as suspect in cold case homicide

SPOKANE, Wa. — A former Pasco police officer was named Thursday as a suspect in a 1986 homicide in Spokane, police said.

Detectives used DNA evidence to identify Richard J. Aguirre as a suspect in the strangulation of 27-year-old Ruby Doss, The Spokesman-Review (bit.ly/1DZP06m) reported.

Aguirre is also being investigated in a sexual assault last year in the Tri-Cities area. He was placed on administrative leave from the Pasco Police Department in November and recently resigned, the newspaper said.

"As part of the sexual assault investigation, his DNA was collected and submitted to the Combined DNA Index System," police said in a statement. "His DNA profile matched the DNA profile collected from the 1986 Doss homicide."

A telephone call to a number listed for Richard J. Aguirre in Pasco was not answered on Thursday.

Aguirre joined the Pasco Police Department in 1988.

Spokesman-Review archives said Doss was a prostitute and had recently arrived from Detroit. Her body was found on Jan. 30, 1986.

In addition to being strangled, she had a head wound that indicated she had been struck by a blunt object.

Two other women, Mary Ann Turner, 30, and Kathleen DeHart, 37, were also killed in 1986 and 1987 in similar attacks and their cases are unsolved. They also were strangled and suffered blows to the head.

Spokane police are taking a new look at those cases.

Pasco is about 130 miles southwest of Spokane.

Copyright The Associated Press