SEATTLE, Aug. 1 (UPI) — The FBI says a lead in the unsolved 1971 D.B. Cooper jetliner hijacking case, pointed investigators toward a dead suspect.
The FBI was given what it says was the “most promising” lead to date in the nation’s only unsolved airliner hijacking case — a name of a man who previously was not investigated, and an item of his with fingerprints to be tested, Seattlepi.com reported.
The suspect’s name and a piece of his personal property were handed over by a law enforcement official who questioned someone who the report said may have been close to Cooper.
“With any lead our first step is to assess how credible it is,” said Ayn Sandalo Dietrich, spokeswoman for the Seattle FBI office, where the Cooper evidence is kept. “Having this come through another law enforcement [agency], having looked it over when we got it — it seems pretty interesting.
“It’s back at our lab and we hope to compare it to partial fingerprints we got in the hijacking,” Sandalo Dietrich told the online newspaper. “It would be a real break if it came back.”
The bureau has not yet released the identity of the Pacific Northwest man suspected of being Cooper, as investigators have not yet confirmed that the man, who is dead, is the infamous fugitive, ABC News said.
Currently, the Seattle FBI file on Cooper contains a partial fingerprint sample from a black clip-on tie Cooper left on the plane, the parachute he discarded after he jumped from the plane, his boarding pass with “DAN COOPER” written in red ink and a few bills from the $200,000 ransom Cooper received.
The FBI has investigated more than 1,000 people since the hijacking 40 years ago.