Washington police make arrest in 1998 cold case murder of teen found axed to death

Washington authorities are crediting advancements in DNA technology

Police in Washington state have made an arrest in the murder of a teenager who was found axed to death 24 years ago. 

The body of 19-year-old Jennifer Brinkman was found in 1998 when her father returned to his Marysville, Washington, home from a vacation in California and discovered his daughter had been murdered with an ax, KCPQ-TV reported.

After 24 years, police say they have made an arrest in the cold case using DNA evidence and crediting the advances made in that technology over the years.

"The arrested suspect was one of several individuals detectives focused on through the years, and ultimately, the advancement of scientific DNA technology, including genetic genealogy, led to his arrest," The Marysville Police Department said in a news release. 

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Police in Washington state have made an arrest in the 1998 cold case murder of Jennifer Brinkman

Police in Washington state have made an arrest in the 1998 cold case murder of Jennifer Brinkman (KCPQ-TV)

Police did not identify the name of the suspect during a press conference on Tuesday but said he was a 52-year-old resident of Renton, Washington.

New York Post reported on Wednesday that the suspect arrested is Jeffrey Paul Premo and that he is being held at the Snohomish County Jail on $250,000 bond.

Police say Brinkman had been spending a "considerable" amount of time on telephone dating and chat lines as well as using library computers, which is how authorities believe she met the suspect.

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The Marysville, Washington, home where Jennifer Brinkman was found dead in 1998

The Marysville, Washington, home where Jennifer Brinkman was found dead in 1998 (KCPQ-TV)

Police added that they believe the suspect has been living in the east Puget Sound area since before the murder and that he left the ax at the scene of the crime.

"Solving this case has been at the top of the priority list of the Marysville Police Department for the past 24-plus years," Marysville Police Chief Erik Scairpon said. 

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"We never gave up or put this on a shelf. It was continuously being investigated with the belief that we would one day be able to bring some level of closure for the family and justice for Jennifer."