Woman Calls Police ‘Superheroes’ For Capturing Killer 34 Years After Her Mother’s Death
Nancy Daugherty was found sexually assaulted, beaten, and strangled in her Minnesota home in July 1986.
Police in Minnesota collected DNA from over 100 people while searching for whoever was responsible for taking the life of a mother in her home over three decades ago. But when the killer was finally identified, detectives learned he had never once been on their radar.
On July 16, 1986, officers in Chisholm conducting a wellbeing check at the residence of 38-year-old Nancy Daugherty found the nursing home worker and ambulance service volunteer dead.
Witnesses recalled hearing a woman screaming earlier that morning. An investigation determined Daugherty had been sexually assaulted, beaten, and strangled. Crime scene investigators also noted it appeared there was a struggle both inside and outside the victim’s home.
No arrests were made at the time, however, and the case went cold.
Bodily fluids on the victim’s body as well as scrapings taken from under her fingernails eventually helped investigators obtain the DNA profile of an unknown male suspect, but there were no matches in criminal databases, WCCO reported.
In 2020, cold case investigators turned to genetic genealogy company Parabon to see if any public databases could help narrow down and identify a suspect in Daugherty’s long-ago murder. That July, Parabon provided police with the name of a possible suspect: Michael Allan Carbo Jr.
Carbo was 18 when the murder occurred. He had no high-level criminal charges and his only connection to the victim appeared to be that they lived less than a mile apart and he attended high school with her children, according to CBS News.
The suspect reportedly agreed to let investigators take a sample of his DNA, and in July 2020, he was arrested in St. Louis County, Virginia, and held on probable cause of second-degree murder.
“We are gratified to be able to provide some answers to this family and this community after all of these years,” Chisholm Chief of Police Vern Manner said after Carbo was taken into custody.
In August 2022, Cabo was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder while committing criminal sexual conduct. He was sentenced to life behind bars, but he will become eligible for parole after serving 17 years.
At his sentencing hearing, Carbo, now 55, continued to deny he had anything to do with the murder. He claimed he was a heavy drinker when the homicide occurred and did not remember.
“There are no words the describe the terrible holes that were left in so many lives, including my own — so many tears and struggles,” the victim’s daughter, Gina Haggard, said of her mother’s death, the Duluth News Tribune reported. “She has missed so much and I miss her love and guidance."
Haggard encouraged others waiting for justice to not give up hope, and she called those in law enforcement who worked on the cold case “superheroes.”
For more on this case, stream On The Case With Paula Zahn: “Righting A Wrong” on Max.
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