KBI: New DNA evidence found in 2002 Dolly Madison Bakery murders

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 8:34 AM CDT
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GREAT BEND, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and the Great Bend Police Department announced Tuesday that new DNA evidence has been found in the double murder of 79-year-old Mary Drake and 24-year-old Mandi Alexander. The two women were found dead at the Dolly Madison bakery outlet store in Great Bend on Sept. 4, 2002.

The KBI said male DNA was discovered on a sample collected from the body of one of the victims. So far, there has been no match and no arrests have been made.

The KBI said Drake and Alexander were killed in the early morning hours of Sept. 4, 2002. Great Bend police responded to the bakery at 1004 Harrison in Great Bend, just before 8 p.m. after a Dolly Madison delivery truck driver found the women’s bodies inside the business. A witness described seeing a white male, approximately 6′1″-6′2″, weighing 175 lbs, having collar-length light brown to blond hair, and a slight beard, walking away from the front door of the bakery. Twenty years later, the crime remains unsolved.

“Over the past year, KBI special agents and forensic scientists completed an exhaustive review of all the physical evidence collected in this investigation. They reassessed the potential for additional results by utilizing current forensic technologies, especially those that have had significant advancements in the 20 years since Drake and Alexander were killed,” said the KBI in a release.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is offering a $17,000 reward in the deaths of Mandi...
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is offering a $17,000 reward in the deaths of Mandi Alexander and Mary Drake who were found dead in the Dolly Madison Bakery in Great Bend, Kan. on Sept. 4, 2002.(Kansas Bureau of Investigations (KBI))

The new evidence is giving new hope for friends and family of Alexander and Drake.

“It is solvable. This happened in broad daylight on the busiest intersection in town,” Alexander’s friend, Kathye Phelps said.

After two decades without closure, Alexander’s older sister, Desiree Worth, said anger grew with the passage of time and no answers. She expressed that frustration Tuesday during the KBI’s press conference updating the case.

“I understand there’s frustration the family has. There’s certain details that we’re not ever going to be able to say,” KBI Senior Special Agent Cory Latham said.

Family and friends said they do appreciate what law enforcement has done, but after 20 years, they just want the case solved.

“You try to find some positive in life, but it gets difficult and you stay stuck, you stay mad,” Werth said.

Police, family and friends ask anyone with information to reach out to the KBI, providing tips to 1-800-KS-CRIME or online at kbi.ks.gov/SAR. There is a $17,000 reward offered to help solve the case.