Breakthrough in 1986 Texas cold case

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 4:17 PM EDT
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CAMBRIDGE, Ohio (WSAZ) - A break in a 1986 cold case has lead to the arrest of a man from Quaker City, Ohio, according to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Guernsey County Sheriff Jeffrey D. Paden.

Mark Gatten, 57, became a suspect in the cold case investigation initiated by the Texas Rangers. In March, the Rangers reviewed the 1986 death of 56-year-old Charles Robert Hardin, which occurred near Canyon Lake, Texas.

Evidence in the case led investigators to Gatten and a second suspect, Tracey Loy, 56, of St. George, Utah.

“The combination of modern forensic technology and old-fashioned detective work can solve cold cases, even when there are many years and miles separating the culprits and their crimes,” Yost said. “BCI is proud to partner with law enforcement within Ohio and beyond.”

The Texas Rangers requested the assistance of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Cold Case Unit and the Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office in eastern Ohio. Gatten was taken into custody on May 26 and awaits extradition to Texas.

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