Boise Police reopen cold case homicide after 30 years

Posted at 11:13 AM, Oct 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-13 19:19:30-04

Boise Police detectives release DNA generated profile on 30th Anniversary of cold case homicide of Boise woman on Friday.

Boise Police Department Criminal Investigation Division have reopened the murder case of Boise business owner Joyce Casper, which occurred on October 13, 1987.  Detectives are hoping that a recently generated profile of a man based of DNA evidence taken at the time of the crime will help lead to identifying the suspect responsible for the homicide.

On the morning of Tuesday, October 13, 1987, passersby around Day Drive and Robert Street in Boise located a dead woman in a car found near the railroad tracks.  Investigators identified the woman as 65-year-old Joyce Casper, the owner of Casper’s Vista Hallmark Shop located in the Vista Village Shopping Center.  Evidence indicated that Casper, who was known to work late in her shop, had been abducted outside of her business in the early morning hours and sexually assaulted and murdered.  She was found in her car parked approximately 800 feet from the business and near the railroad tracks.  Boise Police investigators continued to search for clues that would lead to identifying the person responsible, but no one has been arrested for the murder and sexual assault.

Boise Police Special Victims Unit reactivated the case in 2005.  After over a decade of investigation and review, the decision was made to have two detectives work primarily on the case.  Beginning in August of this year, an SVU detective and a BPD Violent Crimes detective began working full time on the case.  That investigation and recent advancements made in DNA technology allowed officers to utilize the services of a company which specializes in the field.  That DNA company, Parabon Nanolabs, was able to generate a computer profile of the suspect from DNA evidence collected at the scene of the crime in 1987.

The test findings indicate that the suspect is a male Latino, possibly from Puerto Rico or Colombia.  DNA results indicate he has brown or hazel eyes, and brown or black hair.  The results definitively indicate that the man does not have freckles.

The computer-generated profile has hair, but investigators advise that the suspect may have different hair or none at all.  Investigators are confident in the profile’s eyes, nose, cheeks, and chin.  The three profiles are based on a standard body mass index, and detectives caution that the suspect may have been and may currently be lighter or heavier.  At the time of the crime, evidence indicates the man may have had long slicked-back black hair.

Investigators believe the man lived in the Vista and Kootenai area back in 1987 or had a connection to the area.  The suspect likely lived within a mile radius of where the crime took place.  Evidence indicates that 2-3 weeks before the murder happened, a male assailant attempted to assault Joyce Casper at her business.  After a brief altercation between the two, he ran away from the shop heading eastbound.  She later described to officers that the suspect was likely between the ages of 17 and 25 with slicked-back black hair.

Anyone who may have any information which would assist detectives in locating a suspect and solving this 30-year-old homicide and sexual assault case is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: at 208-343-COPS.