Major Break in 2 South Everett Cold Case Murders – Patti Berry and Tracey Brazzel

May 19, 2011

Police Blotter

The 1995 murders of Patti Berry and Tracey Brazzel may be solved

DNA may link the murders of Patti Berry and Tracey Brazzel

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office is announcing major developments in two cold cases dating back to 1995. DNA matching has apparently identified a suspect. Here’s the Sheriff’s Office News Release…

Major development in two cold cases linked by DNA

Sheriff’s detectives with our agency’s cold case unit say they’ve developed a suspect connected to two prominent cold cases: murder victim Patti Berry and missing woman Tracey Brazzel.

DNA samples found at both crime scenes belong to the same person – a 43-year-old former Snohomish County man who now resides at the Stafford Creek Correctional Center in Aberdeen where he’s serving time for a King County conviction of indecent exposure with sexual motivation. He is a registered sex offender. He has not yet been arrested for either the Berry case or the Brazzel case.

Tracey Brazzel was reported missing by her mother on June 4, 1995. She was 22 years old at the time of her disappearance. She is believed to be dead; her body has never been found.

Tracey was last seen May 26, 1995 at Kodiak Ron’s Pub in the 12200 block of Highway 99 in Everett. She lived at the Keeler Corner Apartments in the 4500 block of 164th St. SW near Lynnwood. Her car, a white Ford Probe, was found near the complex, its passenger door window broken out. A small spot of blood was recovered from the car door.

Patti Berry was reported missing on July 31, 1995. She was 26-years-old. Patti was last seen about 1 a.m. July 30 leaving her workplace, Honey’s Adult Entertainment Club formerly located on Highway 99 near Lynnwood. Patti’s Honda Prelude had a low tire and she planned to look for a place to fill it with air before driving home.

On Aug. 1, 1995 Patti’s blue Prelude was found behind a convenience store in the 400 block of 128th St. SW in south Everett, near a car wash that also provided air. The driver’s window was down and a great deal of blood was found both inside and outside the car.

On Aug. 8, 1995 Patti’s body was discovered in a wooded area in the 1500 block of 100th Street SE – just south of the Everett Mall. An autopsy revealed she died of numerous stab wounds.

In May 2004, the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab reported that a mixture of DNA was found in Patti’s Honda Prelude. Part of the mixture matched Patti’s DNA profile. The other part matched an unknown man. That second profile was entered into CODIS – Combined DNA Index System (a national database of DNA profiles).

In August 2008, sheriff’s detectives learned that there was a match in CODIS on the male DNA sample from Patti’s car. It belonged to a registered sex offender who was living in the Lynnwood area at the time of Patti’s death and Tracey’s disappearance.

In March 2010, the state crime lab reported another CODIS hit, this time from the blood sample found in Tracey Brazzel’s Ford Probe. Once again, it belonged to the same sex offender who was living in the Lynnwood area at the time of Tracey’s disappearance.

Thanks in large part to a federal cold case grant, detectives and volunteers with the cold case unit have been able to commit time and resources to both cases. On Tuesday, detectives served a search warrant on the now 43-year old suspect at the Stafford Creek Correctional Center to obtain a DNA sample from him to confirm that he is the match with the DNA sample in CODIS.

“Once again our cold case unit has another major breakthrough – this time in two cases! I’m so proud of them; they never give up,” Sheriff John Lovick said. “Patti and Tracey deserve justice and their families deserve answers.”

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About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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