Warren Robertson Identified as Diane Dahn’s Killer in 1988

Warren Robertson, Diane Dahn

Warren Robertson (L), Diane Dahn (R) appear in images released by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators in San Diego To speak they have identified the man who stabbed a woman to death in 1988 in her own home. The woman left behind her two-year-old son, who was later found wandering around the apartment complex where the victim, her son and the alleged killer all lived.

Body of Diane Lynn Dahn29 years old, was discovered in her apartment in Santee on May 2, 1988, by a colleague who stopped by after Dahn failed to show up for her shift at the San Diego Transit Corporation.

Dahn was found beaten and stabbed in her bedroom. Her two-year-old son, Mark Beyerwas found roaming the apartment complex.

An autopsy determined that Dahn died of stab wounds to the chest, and her death was determined to be homicide.

The case remained unsolved until a genetic genealogy investigation in 2020, which led authorities to identify the suspect as Warren Robertson.

Though cold case detectives were unable to determine if Robertson and Dahn knew each other, Robertson, an Arkansas native, was living in the same apartment complex as Dahn at the time of her murder.

Authorities say that Robertson and Dahn are both racing enthusiasts who have attended vintage car races at the same area racetrack.

Robertson was a local tractor-trailer driver, authorities said. He left his family in San Diego after Dahn’s death and eventually moved to Indiana in 1989.

At the age of 39, Robertson died in a house fire in November 1999.

Beyer, son of Dahn, said in a Press Release that the identification of Robertson gave him a degree of closure.

“Looking back at some of the struggles you went through, you feel alone because of what you went through, you lost your mother,” says Beyer. “You know you have a family, you know you have a family that loves you, but sometimes you feel lonely all the time. Just such good work for the Murder Unit that I was in awe when I heard the story of how it actually played out. Like the way you go from the little information you have to build such a truly impressive case. The answer my family received was closing and closing is everything, even though a lot of time has passed.”

The identification of Robertson as the likely killer of Dahn came just weeks after Dahn’s 63rd birthday.

According to a declare from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, an “extended investigation” was conducted following Dahn’s death, but no suspects have been identified.

Investigators revisited the case in 2000 and 2001 with DNA samples taken from Diane’s fingernails, but the samples were insufficient and could not be added to the federal database of DNA of unreported crimes. to handle.

In 2010, a cold case team from the sheriff’s department looked into the case for further clues and dealt with a hair found in Dahn’s hand. The sheriff’s department said the DNA from that strand of hair matched the pattern found under her fingernails, but no matches were found in the federal database.

A breakdown occurred in May 2020, after the sheriff’s department turned to a genetic genealogy investigation, which found relatives with DNA profiles matching the suspect’s DNA that had yet to be identified. in Dahn’s murder.

“The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is committed to providing answers to families no matter how long ago the crime occurred,” Acting Sheriff Kelly Martinez said in a press release from the Ministry of Police. “I commend the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit and Crime Lab for doing an incredible job in gathering and preserving evidence nearly 34 years ago and can be used today. I would also like to thank our Detectives and Cold Case Analysts in the Sheriff’s Homicide Unit for their relentless pursuit of justice. They continue to look at Dahn’s case using modern DNA technology. I hope this will bring a sense of peace and healing to the victim and her family.”

Dahn’s sister, Victoria Dahn-Mintersays she’s relieved to have the answers, though knowing who was capable of killing Diane doesn’t lessen the pain of losing her.

Dahn-Minter says: “Thirty-four years is a long time to fall into a state of grief and be deeply distressed. “Not knowing has almost consumed me. My sister is a wonderful person, she loves life and always plays violin and guitar. Unfortunately, my grandson never got the chance to know his mother. She is a wonderful mother. The detectives did a great job. They were persistent. Whenever I call to follow up, they immediately know Diane’s name and her case. I didn’t think anything would happen. It doesn’t make the pain go away, but at least there’s an answer.”

[Images courtesy San Diego Sheriff’s Department.]

Is there a trick we should know? [email protected] Warren Robertson Identified as Diane Dahn’s Killer in 1988

James Brien

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