Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder by the Book: The Murder of Karyn Slover

Early Investigation

The autopsy revealed that Karyn had been shot six times, once in the back of the head and five times in the forehead with a .22-caliber weapon. Then her body was dismembered probably with a chainsaw - wrapped in plastic, and dumped in the lake. The bags had been taped closed with duct tape, which yielded a number of hair strands that turned out to be from a dog. The lead investigator told the task force members to seek information on previous cases of police analysis of animal DNA, but they learned that until then there had been no such case.

Karyn Slover
Karyn Slover

The autopsy found material with the body parts that indicated that Karyn had been killed in a place that had both tall grass and cinders, according to the State Journal-Register. Investigators asked landowners in the area along I-72 to look on their properties for such locations. Even so, they doubted this was a stranger crime. It was more likely that the dismemberment had occurred on the killer's private property or the property of someone he knew.

Some pieces of the body remained missing, so divers continued to search the areas in which the other parts had surfaced. They also kept an eye out for the murder weapon, in case the killer had dumped it in the lake as well. In addition, investigators from three counties drove throughout a 450-square-mile area to try to locate blood evidence indicating where Karyn had been shot.

The car, towed to a police garage, yielded no obvious clues. It had not been broken into, and the mess inside had already been there when Karyn left from work. But cinders found in the car could help to locate where she or the person driving the car had been, so investigators collected these for analysis. They also turned their attention to the most obvious persons of interest.

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