Seven Years Later: Murder Unsolved - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Seven Years Later: Murder Unsolved

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Butte native Anita Knutson was found seven years ago today -- murdered -- but who did it?

That answer has eluded authorities for years, making this case one of the most mysterious in Minot's history.

Perry Olson talked with an investigator this week about the case...and the way it may eventually be solved.

 It was seven years ago police were called here -- to the apartment complex of 18-year-old Anita Knutson. Her father had found her stabbed twice in her bed. She'd be 25 now...and still, no arrest in the case that has investigators baffled.

(Lt. Jason Sundbakken - Minot PD Investigations) "You have a young, popular lady who doesn't appear to have enemies or anything of that nature found killed in the apartment that she lived in. Generally those things you start from the inside and look out and typically you find something pretty close to home. At the onset of this case we didn't feel that it would be seven years later and here we are without a resolution yet."

But that doesn't mean one won't eventually come. The Knutson case is officially listed as a 'Cold Case' in North Dakota now. That has brought more manpower to the investigation...

(Lt. Jason Sundbakken - Minot PD Investigations) "Sometimes when you are in the investigator in an incident like this and you are submerged in it, you can miss the forest from the the trees so it is nice to have a different set of eyes looking at it to help develop new leads in the case."

So how might it be solved? Science may end up playing a big role -- DNA...and the Combined DNA Index System...or CODIS.

(Lt. Jason Sundbakken - Minot PD Investigations) "It is called a CODIS database and that has the profile that is linked there and then 10, 20, 100 years down the road if someone does something it links up with that DNA profile."

Should the killer ever have his or her DNA put into the system -- it would match instantly with what investigators have. But that hasn't happened...yet. Old fashioned police-work could bring it to a conclusion as well...

(Lt. Jason Sundbakken - Minot PD Investigations) "In many cases like this, that go on for a long time, it is just a matter of getting lucky with a tip, someone talking who didn't talk before, something of that nature."

Knutson would have been 25 now...perhaps soon, closure can come in this case -- for everyone.

(Lt. Jason Sundbakken - Minot PD Investigations) "It is frustrating that we can't get a resolution for the family...and for Anita."

In Minot, Perry Olson, KX News. 

If you have any information that could help investigators -- you are urged to contact them at the Minot Police Department.

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