The FBI was unable to match DNA found on the necktie of hijacker D.B. Cooper to a new suspect in the case. On Monday, Special Agent Fred Gutt said the test does not rule out the deceased culprit because investigators are not sure whether DNA on the necktie is actually that of the hijacker.
According to Gutt, there are three different DNA samples on the necktie and it is possible none are from D.B. Cooper.
“He’s not been ruled out. We don't even know if (any of the strands of DNA) belong to the hijacker,” Gutt said.
The agency’s discovery came days after an Oklahoma woman claimed her late uncle, Lynn Doyle Cooper, was the man who hijacked a Pacific Northwest flight in 1971.
Last week, Marla Wynn Cooper, 48, told authorities that she remembers her uncle arriving to a family gathering soon after the hijacking covered in blood. She also recalls overhearing conversations between her uncles that suggest they hijacked the plane.
The FBI has completed a fingerprint analysis of an in-flight magazine that Cooper handled. Now, the agency is working with family members to identify items that can also be tested for DNA.
In 1971, a man in his mid-40s purchased a plane ticket in Portland, Oregon under the name Dan Cooper. He took a seat, ordered a drink and slid a note to the flight attendant that read: “Miss, I’ve got a bomb, come sit next to me-- you’re being hijacked.”
Cooper landed in Seattle and freed the passengers in exchange for $200,000 from Northwest Orient Airlines. He then ordered the crew to fly the plane, and then 40 minutes into takeoff, Cooper jumped from the aircraft using several parachutes.
He was never found and for nearly forty years, the agency has checked hundreds of leads trying to find the man responsible for the nation’s only unsolved hijacking.
While on his deathbed, a previous suspect confessed that he was D.B. Cooper. A fugitive at the time of the hijacking was also believed responsible for the hijacking. Each resembled Cooper’s description but none were him, says the FBI.