What we know about Michelle Marie Martinko's death and investigation

What we know about Michelle Marie Martinko's death and investigation:

Robin Opsahl

Des Moines Register

Published 10:54 AM EST Dec 20, 2018
An arrest was made Wednesday morning in the decades-long investigation into the gruesome stabbing death of 18-year-old Michelle Marie Martinko, who was killed and left in her family's car in a Cedar Rapids mall parking lot in December 1979.

Police arrested Jerry Lynn Burns, 64, and charged him with first-degree murder. But what's been happening the past nearly four decades since the murder happened?


  • DNA evidence leads police to charge Iowa man with murder in 1979 killing of Michelle Martinko
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Below is a timeline of on developments and facts in the case. Scroll right to learn more about the night Martinko was murdered and the investigation that followed.