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Detectives recommend murder charges in '90 cold cases

SPOKANE, Wash. - Detectives recommend murder charges in '90 cold cases

Detectives have forwarded charges to the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office that Donna Perry face first-degree murder charges for three unsolved homicides from 1990.

Detectives from the Spokane Police Department and Spokane County Sheriff's Office worked together to crack the unsolved murders of Yolanda Sapp, Nickie Lowe and Kathlene Brisbois.

Perry, 61, was arrested in Spokane last year on federal firearms charges. When he was arrested his DNA was collected and detectives found a match on DNA evidence submitted in the May 15, 1990 killing of Brisbois.

"This name we hadn't associated with these events before. Now that we have gone through all the time and things, we do see his name in there one or two places, but never a player or suspect in this incident," Lyle Johnston, a detective with the Major Crimes Unit, said.

After his arrest, detectives executed a search warrant of his residence on the gun charges, but noticed something else inside the residence, leading to a second search warrant, eventually collecting evidence that ultimately led to confirmation from both agencies that they had enough evidence to identify Perry as a person of interest in the trio of killings.

"They had noted some items in there that would potentially link him to these crimes. We went back and did a search warrant after his most recent arrest," Johnston said.

While the community might have forgotten about the victim's faces and names, their families certainly have not. Now years later, there may finally be justice for the three women murdered 23 years ago.

"There is family out there that cares and we want to bring closure for the case for them," Johnston said.

Perry, who underwent gender reassignment surgery in Bangkok, Thailand in 2000, was originally known as Douglas Perry.

Perry is currently in custody in Texas for the firearms charges.