LOS ANGELES -- (KTLA) -- On the 41st anniversary of the brutal sexual assault of Karen Klaas, ex-wife of Righteous Brothers singer Bill Medley, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department announced the name of the alleged killer in the 1976 slaying.
At a news conference on Monday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Kenneth Eugene Troyer was responsible for Klaas' death. He was identified through familial DNA, investigators said.
Troyer, who was 29 at the time of the crime, was fatally shot by police in March 1982 after he escaped from a prison in San Luis Obispo where he had been serving time for burglary.
Klaas, a 32-year-old mother of two small children, was found sexually assaulted, strangled and unconscious inside her Hermosa Beach home on Jan. 30, 1976.
Klaas was in a coma for five days and died from her injuries on Feb. 4, 1976.
Her family spent more than four decades wondering who was responsible for her tragic death.
At Monday's news conference sheriff's officials touted advancements in familial DNA, which can lead detectives to a relative and ultimately a suspect, as the tool investigators used to help crack the unsolved case.
Investigators first did a familial DNA search in 2011 but did not find a match. When they tried it again in 2016, they got a match to a male relative of Troyer who had committed a crime and resulted in the collection of his DNA.
KTLA/Broward Sheriff’s Office