Police solved a case that started 62 years ago when a 9-year-old Camp Fire girl disappeared while selling chocolates, The Spokesman-Review reported.
The Spokane, Washington, police department held a press conference Friday to reveal who they believe to be guilty of the 1959 murder of Candy Rogers, who was 9 years old at the time, The Spokesman-Review reported. The department connected John Reigh Hoff, who was 19 at the time, of the killing.
Police scoured the area surrounding Rogers’ home at the time of her disappearance, eventually finding her body nearby an abandoned rock quarry with officials determining she had been raped and strangled to death with a petticoat, Fox News reported. The case was one of the oldest in the state’s history.
Hoff ran into trouble as an adolescent, escaping from a state boys’ training camp at the age of 16, the Review reported. He was not suspected in the killing, and he eventually married and started a family, although he committed suicide in 1970.
SPD detectives have solved a cold case murder from 1959. The killing of Candy Rogers, a 9 year old out selling campfire mints, rocked the Spokane community. Join us for a press conference on the case tomorrow – Fri. Nov. 19th – at 10am livestreamed on Facebook. pic.twitter.com/E8ltrVlMLW
— Spokane Police (@SpokanePD) November 19, 2021
The case was solved with DNA samples provided by Hoff’s surviving wife and daughter, the Review reported.
DNA testing eliminated several suspects in the homicide investigation, including serial killer Hugh Bion Morse, who is believed to have killed at least four women, Fox News reported. Morse, who was known to chew grape gum, was once linked to Rogers because the substance was found smeared on her body. (RELATED: Mother Of 3 Charged With Murder After Allegedly Shooting Man For Refusing To Kiss Her, His Girlfriend Included)
Another suspect was nearby resident Alfred Graves, who killed himself the day Rogers’ body was found and was never cleared through DNA, Fox News reported. Graves was accused of inappropriately touching women and newspaper clippings on rapes of women and children were found in his home, while bits of ropes and bobby pins were found in the trunk of his car.
James Howard Barnett was also a suspect in the case, and even Barnett’s wife said, after his death, that she suspected he killed Rogers, the Review reported. Barnett killed himself in 1960 after being arrested for alleged sex abuse of a child.
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