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New DNA tests bringing crime investigators closer to solving 1991 yogurt shop murders


{p}New DNA technology is giving local investigators hope of finally solving a heinous Austin cold case. November marked 30 years since four Austin girls were killed when a local yogurt shop was robbed and then set on fire. On Saturday the newest info on this local murder case will get a national audience. (File photo: CBS Austin){/p}

New DNA technology is giving local investigators hope of finally solving a heinous Austin cold case. November marked 30 years since four Austin girls were killed when a local yogurt shop was robbed and then set on fire. On Saturday the newest info on this local murder case will get a national audience. (File photo: CBS Austin)

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New DNA technology is giving local investigators hope of finally solving a heinous Austin cold case. December marked 30 years since four Austin girls were killed when a local yogurt shop was robbed and then set on fire. On Saturday the newest info on this local murder case will get a national audience.

The yogurt shop murders are a painful part of Austin's history. In December 1991 fire crews responded to a blaze in a small shopping center in North Austin. They quickly knew they had to call the police.

Someone had killed two young employees of the shop and two others who planned to join them after they closed for the day.

Austin Police Detective John Jones was the lead investigator in the case. He recently spoke with CBS News 48 Hours correspondent Erin Moriarty. She says her program will focus on a new look at one of the original pieces of evidence adding, “There is new information that really hasn’t gotten a lot of attention.”

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The fire destroyed a lot of evidence and the soot-covered fingerprints, but police did find a partial DNA profile. Moriarty says, “It only had 16 markers which is not a lot of genetic material. It’s enough to eliminate but is not enough to incriminate.”

But advancements in DNA technology are allowing scientists to squeeze more information from that tiny piece of evidence. Moriarty says, “That’s actually a hopeful thing because if new tests can continually draw out more markers out of this sample then the hope is that not so far in the future they will be able to at least connect with a suspect.” She adds that whoever that DNA came from was involved in this crime.

"48 Hours" airs Saturday at 9:00 p.m. on CBS Austin.

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