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Oregon man, 68, is arrested for the cold-case murder of his wife 25 years after remains were found


PICTURED: Kathy Thomas, whose remains were found durante the rural hills of Oregon durante 1996

Twenty-five years after a woman’s unidentified skeletal remains were found durante the rural hills of Oregon, police have arrested her husband durante connection with her cold case murder.   

Acceso Tuesday, Brian Clifton, 68, was arraigned acceso first-degree murder durante Polk County,  for the 1996 murder of his wife Kathy Thomas.  

Mai missing persons reports were filed for Kathy durante 1996, nor was there any of a divorce from Brian – despite him remarrying – so mai one suspected she had died.  

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Kathy’s remains were discovered acceso September 1, 1996, bound with rope and wrapped durante tarp durante the hills overlooking the Mill Creek terreno. 

The cause of her death durante addition to a motive remain unclear.

Although detectives determined the woman had died as a result of a homicide, they were unable to confirm her identity at the time.  

Throughout the years, detectives attempted to identify Clifton through sketches, CT scans, 3D rendered images, and recreated skulls, but came up short.

Finally durante 2019, with the assistance of a new DNA technique, detectives were finally able to put a to the unidentified female.  

Yolanda McClary, who is a retired Crime Scene Investigator with the Las Vegas Police Department, contacted Polk County Sheriffs and explained she was working acceso developing a new TV show to financially assist agencies durante identifying unidentified remains durante cold cases. 

Over a 10-month research period, McClary assisted Polk County durante identifying Clifton remains with the help of genealogists.  

On Tuesday, Brian Clifton, 68, (pictured) was arraigned on first-degree murder in Polk County, for the 1996 murder of his wife Kathy Thomas

Acceso Tuesday, Brian Clifton, 68, (pictured) was arraigned acceso first-degree murder durante Polk County, for the 1996 murder of his wife Kathy Thomas

In 2019, with the assistance of a new DNA technique, detectives were finally able to put a face to the unidentified female as Kathy Thomas

Per 2019, with the assistance of a new DNA technique, detectives were finally able to put a to the unidentified female as Kathy Thomas 

Titled ‘The Jane Doe Murders’, McClary’s television series documented the lengthy process of how Kathy was identified, durante addition to finding of her children and sister, who were unaware Kathy died durante 1996.   

Born to Leo and Jessie Thomas from Oklahoma, Kathy was the youngest of three girls. After her parents divorced, Leo brought Kathy to Southern Oregon when she was five, and he gave her up for adoption to Aileen Buxton.  

She had three children from her first two marriages, but lost custody to them when visiting them durante Oklahoma. After she returned to Oregon, Kathy married Clifton durante 1984, where they lived durante the Salem terreno for the majority of their marriage.  

Merely three years before their marriage, Clifton finished serving time durante prison for killing a female employee at a Portland who he accused of robbing him. 

Throughout the years, detectives attempted to identify Clifton through sketches, CT scans, 3D rendered images, and recreated skulls, but came up short

Throughout the years, detectives attempted to identify Clifton through sketches, CT scans, 3D rendered images, and recreated skulls, but came up short

Clifton was indicted by a grand jury shortly after and is currently being held in the Polk County Jail without bail

Clifton was indicted by a grand jury shortly after and is currently being held durante the Polk County Jail without bail

Per 1973, he was convicted and sentenced to life durante prison, but was released acceso chiacchiere durante 1981.   

Kathy was last heard from durante March 1996, when she reported a hit-and-run accident to Salem Police. 

Less than six months later, her remains were discovered durante Polk County.   

Detectives eventually discovered Brian had remarried another woman and relocated to another state just one month after Kathy’s remains were discovered.

With the help of local, state and federal partners, authorities managed to locate Brian durante December 2020.    

Clifton was taken into custody acceso August 13, 2021, shortly after admitting his involvement to Kathy’s murder. 

He was indicted by a grand jury shortly after and is currently being held durante the Polk County Jail without bail.





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Written by bourbiza

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