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Elizabethtown Police have lead on a suspected serial killer

Elizabethtown police are circulating this sketch, which was drawn in 1990, in Indiana. Elizabethtown police have DNA and say someone who looks like this passed through Hardin County 23 years ago.

(WHAS11)- On February 21, 1987 Vicki Heath was sexually assaulted and shot twice in the head. Police found her body behind the dumpsters at the Super 8 Motel off of I-65 in Hardin County.

Elizabethtown Police Chief Ruben Gardner worked the case as a detective back then. And says even then he thought this murderer was someone traveling I-65 and this was a crime of opportunity.

'We did all the routine things that you do, compared it to every crime we could find around that had any similarities at all,' said Gardner.

But without any significant leads, the case went cold until 2008, when Detective Clinton Turner submitted DNA from well preserved evidence.

'I say there's an 80% chance we could find him,' said Turner.

Elizabethtown police have matched the DNA in this case to at least four other cases in several states. In each case, the women were all motel clerks, they were all sexually assaulted and robbed and they all worked along I-65. Police say they're on the trail of a traveling serial killer.

The DNA links the murderer to several other crimes. Two women were sexually assaulted and killed in Indiana in 1989. Then in 1990, a woman in Columbus, Indiana was sexually assaulted and stabbed but survived. She described the assailant as the man in the sketch. She said he had green eyes and a lazy right eye. Then in 1991, a woman in Minnesota who was also sexually assaulted and stabbed gave police a similar description of her attacker. The victim described the suspect as a white male, 6'- 6'2'', green eyes, the right eye was described as a lazy eye, and he had grayish brown hair. He was wearing a flannel shirt and blue jeans.

'That was why is was so difficult because most of our murders are local or have some type of domestic tie or something. Whereas this is a random murder and there are 16 million people that travel up and down 65 in a year's time,' Elizabethtown police Detective Clinton Turner.

What police don't know is how many other people this man attacked or killed; where his trail begins or ended; whether this man is dead, alive, or already in jail somewhere.

But after 23 years Elizabethtown Police say the case is warming up again.

'We're hoping with the distinguishing features even though it's been 20 years someone will identify this person with that eye and that eye color,' said Chief Gardner.

If anyone has information about these crimes, please contact Detective Turner at 270-765-4125.

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