Sheriff’s Cold Case Squad Detectives Arrest Suspect In 1983 Homicide

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King County Sheriff’s Cold Case Squad detectives have arrested a 46 year-old man for a homicide at a SeaTac motel that occurred 27 years ago, spokesman John Urquhart announced this morning (Dec. 14).

According to Urquhart’s news release:

John Wayne Folds was arrested without incident about 10 a.m. EST Tuesday (Dec. 14) in Florida, with the assistance of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. He was booked into jail on a Washington arrest warrant for Murder in the 2nd Degree, pending extradition.

Folds has been charged in the case by the Prosecutor’s Office, and the bail on his arrest warrant is set at $1,000,000.

The case was solved as a result of recent DNA work by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab. Folds’ DNA was found at the scene of the homicide.

The homicide occurred in a motel room at the Motel 6, 18900 47th Ave South, SeaTac. The body of Frank T. Kuony, 36, was found by a maid on February 15, 1983. He had been stabbed multiple times.

An investigation by the Sheriff’s Office determined Kuony was a resident of San Francisco, and had flown to Seattle overnight to set up a display at a gift show.

Frank T. Kuony

Further investigation revealed Kuony was seen talking with several people in the back of the airplane during the flight from Seattle. After the plane landed a witness at a car rental counter saw him with a man in his 20s. The witness provided a composite drawing of the man.

Because air travel was much different in 1983, detectives were not able to trace the persons Kuony was seen with through the passenger manifest. Eventually the case became inactive.

This year, detectives from the Cold Case Squad reviewed the case and ultimately sent evidence items to the WSP Crime Lab.

In November, detectives were notified by the lab of a DNA match with John Folds. The match came from the victim’s oral swabs, as well as from several cigarette butts found in the room. Folds’ DNA was in the DNA database due to a 2002 felony arrest in Florida.

“Our thanks to the State Patrol Crime Lab for their invaluable assistance in this case”, said Sheriff Sue Rahr. “The Sheriff’s Office partnership with the Lab continues to pay dividends as we use science to solve our most important cases”, she added.

In addition, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office provided assistance with leg work to locate Folds, as well as the arrest this morning.

The Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Squad was formed about two years ago with help from a grant for the National Institute of Justice, an arm of the Justice Department. The Sheriff’s Office has over 190 cold case homicides and missing person cases that are likely homicides, dating back to 1942.

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