Cold case arrest comes in Sea Tac homicide, for 27 years unsolved

Detectives from the Sheriff's Office Cold Case Squad arrested a 46 year-old man as the suspect in a Sea Tac homicide that occurred 27 years ago. John Wayne Folds was arrested without incident about 10 a.m. Dec. 14 in Florida, with the assistance of the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. He was booked into jail on a Washington arrest warrant for second-degree murder, pending extradition.

  • Tuesday, December 14, 2010 6:01pm
  • News

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Squad arrested a 46 year-old man as the suspect in a Sea Tac homicide that occurred 27 years ago.

John Wayne Folds was arrested without incident about 10 a.m. Dec. 14 in Florida, with the assistance of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. He was booked into jail on a Washington arrest warrant for second-degree murder, pending extradition.

Folds has been charged in the case by the Prosecutor’s Office, and the bail on his arrest warrant is set at $1 million.

The case was solved as a result of recent DNA work by the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab. Folds’ DNA was found at the scene of the homicide.

The homicide occurred in a motel room at the Motel 6, on the 18000 block of 47th Avenue South, SeaTac.

The body of Frank T. Kouny Jr. was found by a maid Feb. 15, 1983. He had been stabbed multiple times. He was 36 years old at the time of his death.

An investigation by the Sheriff’s Office determined Kouny was a resident of San Francisco, and had flown to Seattle overnight to set up a display at a gift show.

Further investigation revealed Kouny was seen talking with several people in the back of the airplane during the flight from Seattle. After the plane landed a witness at a car-rental counter saw him with a man in his 20s. The witness provided a composite drawing of the man.

Because air travel was much different in 1983, detectives were not able to trace the people with whom Kouny was seen through the passenger manifest. Eventually the case became inactive.

This year detectives from the Cold Case Squad reviewed the case and ultimately sent evidence items to the WSP Crime Lab.

In November detectives were notified by the lab of a DNA match with John Folds. The match came from the victim’s oral swabs, as well as from several cigarette butts found in the room. Folds’ DNA was in the DNA database due to a 2002 felony arrest in Florida.

“Our thanks to the State Patrol Crime Lab for their invaluable assistance in this case,” said Sheriff Sue Rahr. “The Sheriff’s Office partnership with the lab continues to pay dividends as we use science to solve our most important cases.”

In addition, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office provided assistance with legwork to locate Folds, as well as the Dec. 14 arrest.

The Sheriff’s Office Cold Case Squad was formed about two years ago with help from a grant for the National Institute of Justice, an arm of the Justice Department.

The Sheriff’s Office has more than 190 cold-case homicides and missing-person cases that are likely homicides, dating back to 1942.

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