Skip to main content

Suspect indicted in 1998 double murder in Minneapolis


More than 15 years after a young couple was killed in their Minneapolis home, a grand jury returned two murder indictments in the case Wednesday.

The Star Tribune reports the deaths of 18-year-old Carrie Richter and her boyfriend Dustin Baity, 20 (above), spread shock and fear through their northeast Minneapolis neighborhood after they were found strangled and stabbed on Christmas Eve of 1998.

Now investigators have used DNA evidence to trace their deaths to Jason Richard Preston, 35, who is serving a prison sentence in California.

MPR News reports Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman credited the break in the cold case to determined police work and improved technology.

According to KSTP, DNA from a drop of blood at the crime scene is what led investigators to Preston. The station posted video of the news conference called by Freeman.

This embed is invalid

As MPR reports, Freeman singled out the police department's Chris Karakostas for particular recognition. Karakostas responded to the crime scene at the home of Richter and Baity in 1998 as a patrol officer. Years later, after he'd been promoted to homicide investigator, the killings were assigned to him as a cold case.

Karakostas says he repeatedly sent DNA samples to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension over the years in hopes of finding a match.

Preston's prison sentence on a home invasion conviction will keep him locked up until 2038, authorities say. Only then will he face the murder charges in Minnesota.

A breakthrough in a 16-year-old murder case is unusual but cracking cold cases has become more common, particularly with advancements in DNA testing.

In May DNA evidence led to the arrest of a Cold Spring man in connection with the 2009 death of a girl in Chicago.

Another cold case closed this year involved a 17-year-old who was fatally shot near North High School in Minneapolis seven years ago. A 24-year-old confessed to that crime in March.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Post Bucks win, KAT says “I play with f****** passion”

Towns was asked how he controls his emotions on the court.

D'Angelo Russell

Wolves rebound with statement win against Bucks

D'Angelo Russell and the Timberwolves bounced back with a win over the defending champs.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 7.08.20 PM

Train carrying ethanol derails in southern Minnesota

The State Fire Marshal has sent in experts to help with the situation.


Motorcyclist dies a month after striking deer in Minnesota

The crash happened north of Mankato near the small town of Norseland.

fire pixabay stock

House explosion kills 1, severely injures another

Authorities described the home as "completely destroyed."

Kotyza-Witthuhn screengrab

Watch: MN lawmaker 'attacked' by giggling child during live hearing

This has to be the most adorable moment ever from a Commerce Finance and Policy Committee hearing, right?

Sloane Martin

Sloane Martin leaving WCCO Radio for bigger role with Big Ten Network

Martin has been a staple at WCCO Radio since Election Day 2016.

Flickr - Xcel Energy truck - Tony Webster

Xcel Energy wants to raise MN customers' electricity rates

If approved, rates go up by an average of $18.50 a month for customers.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 1.11.05 PM

MPD chief 'confident' officers will still show up after Question 2 vote

Arradondo held a press conference Wednesday in which he urged for a 'No' vote.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Charges: Driver in fatal hit-and-run said he thought he hit dog or sign

The crash killed a 56-year-old Blaine woman who had been out walking her dog.

vaccine, covid

Here is Minnesota's plan to vaccinate kids 5-11 against COVID-19

The plan includes hosting vaccination clinics at schools across the state.

Mounds View PD missing 12yo Riddley

12-year-old Twin Cities boy has been missing for 4 days

Police are asking for the public's help locating the child,