Green Bay police: Racine man linked to 1986 cold case via DNA

Closure after more than three decades. 

The Green Bay Police Department’s oldest cold case is closed after authorities say they found their suspect in our region.

Found dead, partially nude, lying face down in the water back in August of 1986 — the murder of 22-year-old Lisa Holstead remained a mystery until now. 34-years-later, Green Bay police say Lou Griffin is responsible. 

"Justice is definitely being served," Green Bay police chief Andrew Smith said.

The 65-year-old is now facing first-degree intentional homicide charges. A criminal complaint reveals Holstead had been sexually assaulted and strangled. 

Griffin was released on parole for a charge of second degree sexual assault of a child a month prior to the homicide and lived in the area where the killing took place. 

"The reason we were able to solve this case was through forensic genetic genealogy," Green Bay police chief Andrew Smith.

The Racine County Metro Drug Unit and the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation conducted surveillance on Griffin at his Racine home and it’s what they found here that led to a break in the case.

DNA from a couple of beer cans and a cigarette he tossed, linked him to DNA to a sample found at the scene.

"The Lou I know couldn’t have done something like that, but I didn’t know Lou back then," Martha Dargin said.

Neighbors in Racine were stunned to hear news of Griffin's alleged ties to Holstead's death and his criminal past.

"If I had known that, I definitely would have had no contact with him," she said.

When questioned by investigators, the complaint says Griffin initially denied seeing Holstead, then later said he must have had sex with her but did not kill her. 

"If you did it and you remember, you got to stand up for it," she said. "If he didn’t do it, God be with him. I hope they find out who did."

Meanwhile, he's being held in the Brown County jail on a $1 million bond.

"Hopefully this brings a little closure to her family," Special agent Robert Hughes said.


Racine man charged in 1986 homicide in Green Bay

Charges have been filed against a Racine man in a Green Bay homicide case that dates back more than three decades.