Cold Case Task Force investigating Joseph Holt  --  Asks for public's help

[Submitted by Paula. Img - Joseph Holt through the years]

The El Dorado County Cold Case Task Force continues their investigation into Joseph Holt to see if he is responsible for other unsolved crimes. They are asking for the public's help in identifying any crimes they may have witnessed or been victims of that may be associated with Joseph Holt.

In February 2019, the cold case task force announced two decades old murders in South Lake Tahoe had been solved using genetic genealogy, identifying a deceased South Lake Tahoe resident as the murderer of both women.

District Attorney Vern Pierson said Joseph Stephen Holt of South Lake Tahoe and San Jose was responsible for killing Brynn Rainey in 1977 and Carol Ann Andersen in 1979.

27-year-old Brynn Rainey was killed in 1977. Her body was found in a shallow grave by passing horseback riders near Stateline Stables in South Lake Tahoe.

16-year-old Carol Andersen was killed in 1979. Her battered body was found on the side of a road, also in South Lake Tahoe.

Their murders went unsolved for 41 and 39 years, respectively, until the El Dorado Cold Case Task Force employed Parabon Nanolabs to construct a “family tree” from DNA recovered from a blood stain on Brynn Rainey’s shirt and DNA recovered from Carol Andersen’s body during her autopsy. Using a public DNA database, Parabon was able to build a family tree around the previously unidentified DNA, leading investigators to three deceased brothers who might be the source of the DNA recovered from the crime scenes.

The Task Force collected DNA from the child of Joseph Holt, as well as DNA from a toothbrush that belonged to Joseph Holt. Further DNA testing confirmed that Joseph Holt’s DNA is a match to the DNA found on Brynn Rainey’s shirt and Carol Andersen’s body.

Investigators have released a series of photographs depicting the evolving appearance of Joseph Holt over several years. He was born in San Jose in 1947, moved to South Lake Tahoe in 1974 and began ...