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Jerry Lynn Burns arrested in Cedar Rapids 1979 murder case.
December 20, 2018
10:34 pm

I was struck watching the local news in Cedar Rapids tonight that the 39 year old cold case in the murder of Michelle Martinko had apparently been solved.  Martinko was a 19 year old blonde high school senior who was attacked and killed late one night in a Cedar Rapids mall parking lot in 1979.  The suspect was apprehended because he left some blood of his own in her car that recently was matched to him after an east coast DNA profiling firm used the DNA's genetic phenotype to create a "suspect sketch" that looked like him and found him by cross referencing geneology sites.  They then were able to get some kind of recent DNA sample from Burns that was a good match.

Like this site, Martinko's friends and relatives have maintained a cold case site on Facebook.  I learned that this man also has a relative who vanished without a trace in 2013 on the exact same date as the anniversary of the Martinko killing.  The suspect's wife died in 2008 of an apparent suicide.  On June 29.  Jodi disappeared on June 27. 

I am wondering if Burns will be examined as a possible suspect in Huisentruit's disappearance.  If he lived in Manchester for most of his adult life, it is possible he was familiar with her from seeing her on TV? 

December 29, 2018
2:26 pm

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March 21, 2012
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Yes...My first thoughts going on the same here !!  NEEDS to be checked out !!

December 29, 2018
3:14 pm

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December 27, 2018
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Manchester is two hours from Mason City and not in KIMT's viewing area (as far as I know). I grew up in the Waterloo area (closer to Mason City than Manchester), and we were not in KIMT's viewing area. KIMT serves southeast Minnesota and north central Iowa. Manchester would be in Cedar Rapid's viewing area (KGAN). I would say it's unlikely he saw her on the news. Not saying there couldn't be a connection, but IMO it's unlikely. Not saying he isn't possibly connected to other disappearances/murders in the area. I'm especially interested in his missing cousin. 

What's notable to me is the DNA wasn't even discovered in the Martinko case until recently, years after the crime took place. From what I've understood in this case, the crime scene wasn't processed well enough for such DNA to exist so it's a long-shot that this case would be solved with this method. 

September 4, 2020
5:54 pm

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September 4, 2020
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I know I'm bumping an old thread, but wanted to add to this discussion.

  • Both Michelle Martinko and Jodi were ambushed/attacked as they were attempting to enter their vehicle in a parking lot while it was dark out.
  • It was said during the trial that Jerry Burns did travel often for work at various times. Maybe work took him to Mason City or maybe he stayed overnight in Mason City at some point and became aware of Jodi? It's true that Manchester is in the KGAN viewing area, but if Jerry traveled often around the state he could have seen Jodi on tv elsewhere. 
  • Jerry murdered Michelle an hour's drive from where he lived in Manchester. It's about a 2-hour drive from the Key Apartment's parking lot to Manchester.
  • Jerry Burns mentioned Jodi by name while speaking to an investigator shortly before his arrest. The video of that is on YouTube and is mentioned around the 25:28 mark.
  • Might be nothing, but Jerry has a cousin who went missing in 2013 and it has become a cold case and Jerry's wife committed suicide in 2008.
  • Then, of course, the fact they were both young blondes that people consider attractive.
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