Sheriff answers questions on Martinko murder suspects' family history

    Jerry Burns, charged with first-degree murder. (CBS2/FOX28)

    The arrest of murder suspect Jerry Burns, accused of killing 18-year-old Michelle Martinko in 1979, is sparking new questions on social media about his former wife and a cousin who is missing.

    Burns, 64, of Manchester, is charged with first-degree murder. Martinko was found brutally stabbed to death in her parent's car, parked at Westdale Mall in Cedar Rapids on December 20, 1979.

    Michelle Martinko was a senior at Kennedy High School, which is where many of her friends say they knew her from (Courtesy: Robert Riley)

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    On the 39th anniversary of the last day she was seen alive, Burns was arrested at his workplace in Delaware County and denied being involved in the murder.

    Investigators said he could not offer a plausible explanation why his DNA would be found at the crime scene.

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    On Friday, CBS2/FOX 28 spoke with Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere about Burns' former wife Patricia Burns and his missing cousin Brian Burns.

    Sheriff LeClere said Patricia died by suicide in 2008 and Brian was reported missing December 23, 2013.

    He also issued a statement on the disappearance of Brian Burns:

    “We are reviewing the case and at this time have not uncovered any additional information that would implicate Jerry Burns in that disappearance.”

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