AP NEWS

Caldwell man arrested for Angie Dodge murder

May 17, 2019

A man has been arrested for the murder of Angie Dodge.

Brian Leigh Dripps, 53, of Caldwell, was arrested Wednesday for the murder and rape of Dodge.

“His DNA matches the DNA sample left at the scene and he has also confessed to the murder and rape in an interview,” said Bryce Johnson, Idaho Falls police chief.

Dripps was arrested yesterday in Canyon County on a Bonneville County hold, related to a murder in perpetration of rape.

Court documents indicate Dripps, now a Caldwell resident, was living in the Idaho Falls are at the time of the murder.

23-year cold case

Angie Dodge was killed in her I Street apartment on June 13, 1996.

Dodge was killed with a knife. A semen sample was left on her body. DNA was extracted from the semen, but police didn’t find a match.

For eight months police investigated the case, leading to the arrest of Christopher Tapp, who spent 20 years in prison. He was released from prison in 2017 after his attorney, Public Defender John Thomas, argued his confession was false and had been coerced by police.

A 2014 investigation by Judges for Justice, a national nonprofit that investigates suspected false convictions, found that Tapp’s confession was demonstrably false — obtained by threats of life imprisonment or death, and with promises of immunity — and that the physical evidence in the case did not match detectives’ conclusions.

Following the Judges for Justice investigation and another third party investigation, both of which led to Tapp’s release, police employed a new tactic to find the murderer: using the killer’s DNA to create a snapshot of what he might look like. Police partnered with Parabon Nanolabs, a Virginia-based DNA phenotyping company, which produced a sketch of the killer, detailing characteristics such as race, eye color, hair color and other facial features.

Police used the sketch to narrow the search, eliminating potential suspects that didn’t match the sketch.