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DNA Match Blows Open Spokane’s Ruby Doss Cold Case

Paige Browning
Spokane Public Radio

People living in Spokane in 1986 may remember this name: Ruby Doss. She was strangled to death and found by a transient, and police never found her killer. Thursday, Spokane Police said they have a suspect: Richard J Aguirre.

Aguirre (now in his 50’s), was a Pasco police officer until a sexual assault investigation last fall led to him leaving the department. He was put on paid leave in November, and eventually resigned.

Spokane Police say DNA collected in that investigation, in Franklin County, found a match in DNA software: that of the suspect in Doss’s murder. Lieutenant Steve Wohl says clothing and other evidence was collected in 1986, but the DNA wasn’t computer logged until software updates in 2002.

Wohl: “Since the 2002 entered into CODIS, they were able to get a full male DNA, which is what hit with Mr. Aguirre.”

He says Spokane police collected new evidence this month at Aguirre’s home through a search warrant, but have not filed charges. He asks any women who may have been assaulted by Aguirre, or know anything about Doss’ murder, to contact police.

Wohl: “We are focused right now on the Ruby Doss case, and bringing this one to resolution to the family. But, we are submitting and resubmitting evidence collected both during that time for Ms. Doss’s case and other ones to see if there is a connection. There are several that were similar MO.”

Ruby Doss’ case has been unsolved for longer than she was alive. She was found 28 years ago, when she was 27. She was suspected to be a prostitute, and was originally from Detroit.

The Tri-City Herald says Aguirre was hired as an officer in ‘88, just two years after Doss was found, and was named officer of the year in 2002.

The public can contact detectives at 509-622-5849.

Copyright 2015 Spokane Public Radio

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