Detectives find car that may link suspect to cold case murders

Bullet found in car same caliber as those used to kill trio of women in 1990

Published On: Dec 20 2012 12:16:22 PM PST   Updated On: Dec 20 2012 06:01:56 PM PST
1969 International Scout
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane detectives have gotten a break in their investigation into a series of cold case homicides with the discovery of a vehicle connected to murder suspect Donna Perry.

Perry, who identifies as a woman but was previously known as Douglas Perry, was arrested last month for the murders of Kathy Brisbois, Yolanda Sapp and Nickie Lowe. The three women were killed between February and May 1990, but it wasn't until earlier this year that authorities had gathered enough evidence to link Perry to the killings.

As they continue to build their case against Perry, detectives were able to locate a car he owned at the time of the killings. Working with local law enforcement in Kittitas County and Woodland, Wash., Perry's 1969 International Scout was located, owned by an individual who bought the Scout from the person who purchased it from Perry.

The search for the vehicle came following interviews between detectives and Perry, who confirmed he owned the Scout at the time the killings took place and, after being shown pictures of the victims, he said he didn't remember them but might've patronized two of the women -- Brisbois and Lowe -- for sex, picking them up and taking them back to his home.

Thinking that Perry may have transported his victims from where they were killed to where their bodies were found, a search warrant was issued for the Scout so detectives could search it for any evidence that any of the women were in the vehicle.

Spokane County Sheriff Deputy Craig Chamberlin said that so far no blood evidence has found in the search of the Scout, but fibers have been taken for analysis. Investigators did find one potential link between the vehicle and the killings, however: an unspent .22 caliber bullet, the same caliber used in the killings of Brisbois, Lowe and Sapp.

Coincidentally, the search for the Scout mirrors a similar search local detectives conducted to help tie in the killing of a local woman to another series of killings in the Spokane area. Detectives tracked down a late model Corvette once owned by convicted serial killer Robert Yates and, while conducting a forensic search of the vehicle, collected a button that had been missing from victim Jennifer Joseph's shirt.  

The investigation into the killings of Brisbois, Lowe and Sapp went cold for several years, but the cases were reexamined with increased scrutiny after Yates began killing prostitutes and dumping them around the Spokane area seven years after the trio's deaths in 1990.