Fifteen years after she was killed while walking along the Boise Greenbelt on her way to church, carrying a Bible, the Boise Police today arrested a suspect in the murder of 22-year-old Kay Lynn Jackson. Patrick Jon Zacharias, 40, has been charged with 1st degree murder and rape in Jackson’s death. Police said the break in the case came when a DNA test conducted on Zacharias, who has been serving time at the Idaho State Correctional Institution since an unrelated conviction in 2007, was entered into a national crime information database and came up as a match.
Jackson was killed on the morning of Palm Sunday in 1998. “The lead detective, Mark Ayotte, has worked this case since Kay Lynn’s death,” Boise Deputy Police Chief Pete Ritter said at a news conference today. “His case files have stayed on his desk, never more than an arm’s length away. Detective Ayotte led a team that includes officers, investigators and support staff from Boise, all over Idaho and indeed all over the country. Their hard work has led to this critical point in a case that has touched so many lives for 15 years.” You can read the BPD’s full news release and statements here.
Jackson's murder was the first of three on the Greenbelt in which women were raped and murdered over a three-year period; it was the last of the three to remain unsolved. Darrell Payne received a death sentence for the July 2000 murder of BSU student Samantha Kay Maher, 22; and Erick Virgil Hall was sentenced to death for the September 2000 rape and murder of Lynn Henneman, a flight attendant who was walking from a restaurant to her hotel when she was killed.