Boise Police believe they've made a breakthrough in the April 5, 1998 murder and rape of 22-year-old Kay Lynn Jackson, officials announced at Ada County Courthouse Wednesday morning.
"Today, we have a suspect's name. Patrick Jon Zacharias has been charged with rape and murder in the first degree, in the death of Kay Lynn Jackson," Deputy Chief of Police Pete Ritter told members of the media in a prepared statement.
Zacharias, 40, is currently serving life in prison at the Idaho State Correctional Facility on charges of lewd conduct with a minor, convicted in February 2007. Zacharias' DNA, entered into a database during his incarceration, lead to the "major break in this case," according to Ritter.
Ritter was flanked by members of Jackson's family, Ada County Prosecutor's Office Chief of Staff Jan Bennetts, Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bandy and lead detective Mark Ayotte. Jackson's mother, Evelyn Jackson, stepped to the podium with her husband, Terry, and daughter, Jennifer Lay, to read a brief statement.
"April 5, 1998, our lives were changed forever. We would like to thank the Boise Police Department for their continuous service these past 15 years to solve the case against our beloved Kay Lynn Jackson," Evelyn said. "Being a Christian, she attended church every Sunday. Her faith in God has kept us going these past years. We want to thank our family, friends and community for their support over the years."
Kay Lynn is reported to have been walking to church on Palm Sunday, 15 years ago. Her body was found by a fisherman beneath Americana Bridge. According to Ritter, detective Ayotte has been on the case since the day he was called out to investigate the crime scene in 1998.
"Detective Ayotte pursued leads that went throughout Idaho, and actually throughout the world," said Ritter.
Ritter declined to answer any more questions about the case, but noted that the charges were just "the next step" toward justice.