The detectives sent DNA left by the killer on the victim to a lab to be tested through genetic genealogy, the process in which DNA samples are used to find relatives of suspects, which in this case was Mr. Dunaway. Detectives traveled to meet a child of Mr. Dunaway’s — who had never really known their father — to collect DNA.
“They were shocked,” Detective Cox said of the child, who was not identified.
The detectives then learned more about Mr. Dunaway’s past: He had killed another person, Ron Townsend, in Northern Kentucky in December 1976 — just months after Ms. Klaber was killed — and served more than seven years in prison for that crime.
He had also enlisted in the U.S. Army days after Ms. Klaber’s body was found. On Christmas Eve of that year, he had been arrested in South Carolina for burning a Chevrolet Impala and illegally possessing a sawed-off shotgun.
On March 1, Mr. Klaber sat in his chair, taking in all the investigative findings.
The case had traumatized his family, including his older brother, and he had long wondered why he hadn’t sought therapy after seeing what the killer had done to his sister.
He said that sight had left him with “a vague darkness somewhere down inside me.”
His son, Daniel Klaber, 28, said that when he was out late with friends, his father would frantically call several times and plead: “It’s been too long. Call me. Where are you?”
“Whenever someone was overdue, I would start not just worrying, but, you know, I was expecting this to happen again,” the senior Mr. Klaber said.
This month, as he processed the news from the detectives, he realized that one small detail gave him comfort.