Public gets first glimpse of Angie Dodge’s killer

INFORMATION TIP LINE: 1-800-927-1239

IDAHO FALLS – Thanks to new technology, the Idaho Falls Police Department says they have a first look at the person who killed Angie Dodge.

During a press conference Wednesday authorities released the image of the person they say killed Angie Dodge in 1996.

“We’re here to introduce and to distribute a picture referred to as a DNA Phenotype that has been produced and age enhanced in hopes of providing the department with new leads,” Idaho Falls Police Chief Mark McBride said.

The image is DNA Phenotype snapshot, a process which takes information from the DNA to compile a physical picture of the person.  Parabon Nanolabs says the purpose of these snapshots is more exclusion, than identification since DNA does not provide information about height, weight or age.

“At this point we’ve done just over 100 cases around the country and around the world,” Dr. Ellen Greytak, Director of Bioinformatics at Parabon Nanolabs, said. “Of those, we know of at least 11 that have been solved.”

Parabon Nanolabs says a great deal of the cases they are involved in are cold cases similar to Dodge’s.

“At least we’re giving some chance to start this investigation again and get some leads on this person,” Greytak said.

Idaho Falls Police are now asking anyone with information about Dodge’s killer to call into their 24-hour new tip line at 1-800-927-1239.

Carol Dodge, Angie Dodge’s mother, is also encouraging the public to spread the image of her daughter’s killer far and wide.

“Share it on social media,” Carol Dodge said. “Somebody’s got to know him.”

Angie Dodge was found murdered in her Idaho Falls home in 1996. Christopher Tapp was arrested and convicted of the murder, but Tapp was released after a judge signed off on an agreement between Tapp’s attorneys and the Bonneville County Prosecutor’s office. 

A complete timeline of the investigation since 1996 is available here.

Press Release

Idaho Falls Police Department

The Idaho Falls Police Department began investigating the horrific murder of 18‐year‐ old Angie Dodge on June 13, 1996. After more than 20 years, the IFPD continues to be committed to solving the homicide that victimized the Dodge Family and the citizens of Idaho Falls.

“The Idaho Falls Police Department has spent more time and money investigating this crime than any other crime in the history of this department,” Idaho Falls Police Chief Mark McBride said. “But the resources directed to this case are quintessential to solving it, and we are determined to bring a resolution to this heinous crime. We owe it to the Dodge family and our citizens and therefore, this case will remain as high of a priority as it has been since 1996.”

The crime scene and evidence collected at the scene, including the collection and extraction of one major and two minor DNA profiles, indicates that there was more than one individual involved in the death of Angie Dodge. With current technologies, the major profile collected is the only viable DNA sample that can be used to make an identification.

Unfortunately, the major DNA profile from whom we believe to be the primary offender has remained unknown. This is despite efforts by investigators and utilization of technologies and databases, such as the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and the FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP), designed to make an identification.

The IFPD has spent thousands of hours and resources each year since 1996 tracking down tips and leads; collecting and analyzing evidence; conducting research; and collaborating with multiple agencies, consultants, and companies in an effort to identify the primary offender.

In the last four years alone, the IFPD has invested more than $43,000 in evidence extraction and analysis, DNA profiling, and travel to follow up on leads. This does not include the staff time and wages. Investigators assigned to this case have also worked weekends, holidays, and vacation time to follow‐up on leads, make contacts and research into new investigative tools, techniques and technology.

Throughout this investigation, the IFPD has received assistance from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho State Police, West Jordan Police Department, the Idaho State Crime Lab, Bode and Sorensen crime labs; forensic genealogists, the Innocence Project, Ancestry Public Database, Idaho Attorney General Office, FBI, Bonneville County Prosecutor’s Office, East Idaho Cold Cases, the Dodge family and the Usry Family.

We are grateful for this assistance, particularly from Carol Dodge and her family. We have great empathy for the Dodge family and truly want to find justice for Angie Dodge.

Today, we are pleased to announce our recent collaboration with Parabon Nanolabs and Channel Blend as we reveal and begin dissemination of a DNA Phenotype Snapshot.

Parabon Nanolabs, a Virginia‐based DNA Technology company introduced to the IFPD at a Chiefs of Police Conference, has created a sketch of our unknown killer from the DNA’s genetic instruction and make‐up to predict physical appearance, including eye color, hair color, skin color and face shape.

The IFPD is also collaborating with Channel Blend of Idaho Falls to create a 24‐hour tipline to receive information and tips from the public. The number is 1‐800‐927‐1239. Callers may leave a name and a number for a callback from detectives, or they can leave an anonymous tip that will be recorded. All tips and information provided will be reviewed and followed‐up by detectives.

“This is a testament of our commitment and desire to utilize available and cutting‐edge technologies to finding our killer,” McBride said. “We are hopeful and excited this new phenotype sketch will help us garner new leads into the Dodge homicide.”

Editor’s Note: A previous version read that Christopher Tapp was released after authorities determined his innocence. This is incorrect. Tapp was released after a judge signed off on an agreement between Tapp’s attorneys and the Bonneville County Prosecutor’s office. 

The prosecutor still maintains that Tapp is guilty, but felt he had served a suitable amount of time for the crime he was convicted for. Tapp’s attorneys maintain his innocence.