KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Officials have solved the killing of a teenager in the Florida Keys who was raped and strangled with her bikini top on Valentine’s Day 1991.
The victim has finally been identified as 18-year-old Wanda Deann Kirkum of Hornell, New York. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says her killer was Robert Lynn Bradley, who was murdered a year later in Texas at the age of 31.
Officials used DNA technology to identify both the victim and the suspect. DNA obtained from the 1991 crime scene in the Florida Keys matched DNA from Bradley’s own homicide scene in April 1992. The Tarrant County, Texas, investigation also indicated that Bradley had lived in Miami in late 1990.
The case became known as the “Valentine Jane Doe Homicide.” Kirkum was seen hitchhiking out of Key West that evening. Windsurfers found her body the following morning off a dirt road in an area known as the “Horseshoe.” She was face down, nude and had been strangled with her bikini top.
Sheriff’s officials said Kirkum was never reported missing, and both her parents are now dead.