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FBI: DNA test did not match DB Cooper suspect

The FBI says DNA found on the tie of hijacker D.B. Cooper does not match a new suspect in the case.
FBI sketch of accused skyjacker D.B. Cooper
The accused skyjacker known as D.B. Cooper is shown in these FBI sketches.Ho / REUTERS
/ Source: The Associated Press

The FBI says DNA found on the tie of hijacker D.B. Cooper does not match a new suspect in the case.

Special Agent Fred Gutt cautioned that the test does not necessarily rule out the deceased suspect because investigators do not know whether DNA on the tie is that of the hijacker. Gutt said there are three different DNA samples on the tie and that it's possible it had been used previously by other people.

Gutt says the FBI had an inconclusive round of fingerprint testing and that investigators are now working with family members to identify items that could be tested further for fingerprints.

Federal investigators have checked hundreds of leads since the man dubbed "D.B. Cooper" parachuted from a flight with $200,000 dollars in ransom in 1971.

One of the greatest unsolved mysteries
For nearly 40 years, the FBI has chased the ghost of the man responsible for the nation's only unsolved hijacking, with each exhausted lead growing his stature in American folklore.

What investigators do know is that on Nov. 24, 1971, a man in his mid-40s and wearing dark sunglasses boarded a Boeing 727 at Portland International Airport. With a ticket under the name Dan Cooper, he took seat 18F, ordered a bourbon and water.

Then he handed a flight attendant a note: "Miss, I've got a bomb, come sit next to me — you're being hijacked."

Cooper (a law enforcement official later erroneously referred to him as "D.B." and the initials stuck) opened a briefcase that appeared to contain explosives and demanded $200,000 and parachutes. Officials met his demands when the plane landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where passengers and two flight attendants were released.

The man in 18F then ordered the flight crew to take the plane back into the air, insisting that it fly at an altitude of no more than 10,000 feet on its way to Mexico through Reno, Nevada.

About 40 minutes after takeoff, a signal light in the cockpit showed that the plane's rear stairway had been extended. When the jet landed in Reno, the stairs were down and two parachutes, the money and Cooper were gone.

A few years ago, the FBI renewed its push to solve the case, releasing photos and new case details in the hopes of jogging memories or prompting someone to come forward.