by John Stevens Daily Mail
The FBI today revealed that it believes it has America’s most elusive fugitive finally in its sights 40 years after famed hijacker DB Cooper disappeared when he jumped out of a plane over Washington.
Investigators said that they are testing the fingerprints of a new suspect after what they said is the ‘most promising’ lead to date in its bid to crack America’s only unsolved hijacking.
A mystery hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper, also known as DB Cooper, boarded a Northwest flight in Portland for a flight to Seattle on the night of November 24 1971, and commandeered the plane, claiming he had dynamite.
Close to be caught? Artists sketches of America’s most elusive fugitive DB Cooper who hijacked an aeroplane and extorted $200,000 from the FBI before escaping by parachute in 1971
In Seattle, he demanded and got $200,000 and four parachutes and demanded to be flown to Mexico.
Somewhere over southwestern Washington, he jumped out the plane’s tail exit with two of the chutes, and was never seen or heard from again.
The FBI today announced that it has a new suspect in the case who they are hoping to link to a tie Cooper left on the plane and cigarette butts in an ashtray using DNA testing and fingerprints.
There have been more than 1,000 suspects over the past four decades, but the FBI have described the new lead as ‘looking like our most promising one to date’.
‘We do actually have a new suspect we’re looking at,’ said FBI spokesman Ayn Dietrich as she revealed the twist in the investigation.
‘It comes from a credible lead who came to our attention recently via a law enforcement colleague,’ she said.
Map: Locations in Washington where Cooper was originally thought to have landed and where some of the ransom money was found in 1980
‘The credible lead is somebody whose possible connection to the hijacker is strong,’ she told the Daily Telegraph. ‘And the suspect is not a name that’s come up before.’
The FBI said that an item belonging to the suspect has been sent for testing at a forensics lab in Quantico, Virginia.
‘We’re hoping there are fingerprints they can take off of it,’ she said. ‘It would be a significant lead.
And this is looking like our most promising one to date.’