Skip to main content

No DNA match with new suspect in D.B. Cooper case

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FBI: No DNA match of new suspect in D.B. Cooper skyjacking case
  • Oklahoma woman claimed D.B. Cooper was her uncle
  • A man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a plane in 1971 and then jumped
  • Cooper has never been found and his fate is unknown

(CNN) -- DNA found on the tie of hijacker D.B. Cooper does not match that of a new suspect in the case, FBI officials said Tuesday.

New testing was done after Marla Cooper of Oklahoma told federal authorities that she believed a man she knew as Uncle L.D. was actually missing skyjacker D.B. Cooper.

Despite the failed link, the new suspect "has not been ruled out as a suspect," FBI Special Agent Frederick Gutt said.

In November 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a plane and succeeded in getting authorities to give him $200,000 and parachutes in return for letting passengers off the plane.

The man then asked to be flown to Mexico but jumped out of the back of Northwest Orient Flight 305 somewhere between Seattle and Reno, Nevada.

Authorities have never been able to prove whether the man survived or what his actual identity was.

Marla Cooper told CNN that she remembered her father and uncle "plotting a scheme" around Thanksgiving four decades ago.

At the time, she was only 8 years old, and said she "didn't really know what was going on."

But Marla Cooper said she has vivid memories of her father and uncles' conversation, and remembers them returning home on Thanksgiving morning. Her Uncle L.D., she said, "was wounded."

"He had blood on his shirt. He was banged up. He was really in bad shape," Cooper said.

The Korean veteran, according to Cooper, was taken to the V.A. hospital for treatment. That's when Marla Cooper said her father "swore her to secrecy."

"He explained that what my uncles had done could mean death and he said, 'Marla, you can never speak of this,' " according to Cooper. She said she last saw L.D. Cooper around Christmas 1972.

She believes her Uncle L.D. died in 1999.

Two sources close to the investigation told CNN that Marla Cooper's tip led to the FBI reviving the 40-year-old case.

Five years after D.B. Cooper hijacked and jumped from the Northwest Flight, the FBI said it had considered more than 800 suspects and eliminated all but two dozen from consideration.