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Utah cold case murder of 17-year-old girl solved after 59 years

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Posted at 1:07 PM, Jun 26, 2024

LOGAN, Utah — The murder of a teenager in the City of Logan that remained a cold case for nearly 60 years has finally been solved, police announced Wednesday on the anniversary of the crime.

Tanya Weber, a 17-year-old senior at Logan High School, was found dead on June 26, 1965, with her partially-nude body found just blocks away from her home on West Street.

At the time, an autopsy showed Weber had been strangled and that her death was a homicide.

An investigation led police to interview about 1,000 people, with 26-year-old Owen Hodges Kimball, who was in the area at the time of Weber's death, being identified as a suspect.

However, on June 30, 1965, just days after Weber's body was found, Kimball was discovered to have committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning after his family reported him missing.

Following Kimball's death, the Cache County Attorney said there were no "prime suspects" to prosecute in Weber's murder, leaving the case unresolved.

In 2022, Logan police reopened the case, with Weber's clothing being examined for DNA analysis, which discovered "a mixture of several males' DNA on her clothing."

An order was signed to exhume Kimball's body, which occurred on Nov. 2, 2023, to collect DNA samples from his remains.

Testing conducted by the Utah State Crime Lab and an independent lab in Virginia discovered Kimball's DNA on the clothing Weber was wearing when she was murdered.

After reviewing the new evidence, authorities confirmed that Kimball "did in fact kill Ms. Tonya Weber and this evidence would be sufficient to obtain a verdict beyond a reasonable doubt," police wrote in a release Wednesday.

Logan police have remained in contact with Weber's family through the latest investigation, saying they hope "this information provides them closure."