Killer ID’d in 9-year-old Candy Rogers’ 1959 murder

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Killer ID'd in 9-year-old Candy Rogers' 1959 murder

Police have identified the man who raped and killed 9-year-old Candy Rogers in 1959, solving one of Washington State’s longest cold cases.

Spokane cops this week identified John Reigh Hoff as the child’s murderer using DNA analysis, according to reports.

Hoff’s daughter, Cathie, volunteered a DNA sample to police this year when she learned he was a suspect, according to KREM.

“It’s just really sad to find out that someone that — not even just your dad, but just someone in your family —  could do something like that,” she said, according to the station. “He was evil.”

Hoff killed himself by gunshot in 1970.

Rogers was selling mints on March 6, 1959, when she disappeared. Her body was found in woods a few miles from her home by a pair of men out hunting. 

Hoff, an Army soldier, was stationed at a nearby base. He wasn’t initially a suspect but was later kicked out of the service after tying a woman up and strangling her, according to NBC.

Candice Rogers
John Reigh Hoff was identified as Rogers’ killer. Hoff killed himself in 1970.
Family handout

A detective who worked on the case from 2006 to 2020, Brian Hammond, hoped to solve the case, but retired earlier this year, according to the network.

“If it wasn’t for the genealogy company, it probably wouldn’t have been solved because his name was nowhere in the list of suspects,” he said.

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