A Minnesota jury has convicted a man on two first-degree murder charges for the 1986 killing of a 38-year-old woman inside her home.
Michael Allen Carbo, Jr., 54, was convicted Tuesday in St. Louis County of killing Nancy Daugherty, 38, more than three decades ago. According to Minnesota authorities, Daugherty was last seen shortly after midnight on July 16, 1986. That afternoon, police officers conducting a welfare check at Daughter’s home found her body inside.
“She had been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled,” the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said in a press release when Carbo was initially arrested in July 2020. “Evidence at the scene indicated that a struggle had occurred both outside and inside the home. Witnesses later reported hearing a woman screaming in the early morning hours.”
Carbo was 18 years old at the time.
Although DNA evidence was collected at the scene, it did not match anybody in the criminal DNA database at the time, the press release said.
Investigators interviewed and collected DNA from more than 100 people, the public safety department said, but the investigation came up short — until a break in the case in 2020.
Early that year, police in Chisholm approached the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) and asked the office to provide a sample of the DNA evidence to Parabon NanoLabs, a private technology company that conducts forensic DNA investigations by analyzing public genealogy databases.
“Based on their analysis and search, Parabon in July identified Mr. Carbo as a potential suspect in the case,” authorities said.
BCA agents and investigators from Chisholm police “surreptitiously obtained DNA evidence” from Carbo and sent it to the BCA laboratory for analysis.
The BCA lab found a match to the bodily fluids found on Daugherty at the scene.
Carbo subsequently consented to BCA’s request to obtain a DNA sample directly from him. He was arrested in July of 2020.
On Tuesday, one week after the trial began, Carbo was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder while committing criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. Each count carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison, according to St. Louis County Attorney Kim Maki.
“More than 36 years ago the murder of Nancy Daugherty shook residents of Chisholm and greater St. Louis County,” Maki said in a press release Monday announcing the verdict. “Her murder prompted one of the most exhaustive investigations in St. Louis County, undertaken by current and retired employees of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Chisholm Police Department, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from numerous other agencies.”
The verdicts “affirmed what those agencies discovered in their dogged investigation – that Michael Allen Carbo, Jr. raped and murdered Nancy Daugherty in the early morning hours of July 16, 1986,” the press release added.
“There are no words the describe the terrible holes that were left in so many lives, including my own,” Daugherty’s daughter Gina said in a statement at the time of Carbo’s arrest, according to CBS News. “So many tears and struggles. She has missed so much and I miss her love and guidance.”
According to a report from local NBC affiliate KARE, Carbo lived less than a mile from Daugherty and went to school with her children.
On Tuesday, Maki praised the jury for its “courage and commitment to justice” despite the age of the case, and offered condolences to Daugherty’s family.
“The County Attorney’s Office would like to express its deepest condolences to the family of Ms. Daugherty for their loss,” Maki said in the press release. “Ms. Daugherty was a wonderful woman who was taken far too soon.”
Carbo’s sentencing is set for Sept. 30.
[Image of Carbo via St. Louis County (Minn.) Jail. Image of Nancy Daugherty via Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.]
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