SLC police close book on 30-year-old murder case

Jul 13 2012 - 9:57am


Rodney Van Komen (Salt Lake City police department photo)
Rodney Van Komen (Salt Lake City police department photo)

SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City police say they've closing the books on a 30-year-old murder case, but no one will be charged.


The suspect died in a car crash seven years ago.


Police say a witness who was afraid to come forward years ago told investigators recently that a 17-year-old runaway confessed to the murder a year after it happened.

Dennis Piernick was found dead of stab wounds at his Salt Lake City apartment May 16, 1982.

Police say the purported confession -- along with a backpack, clothing and a pack of cigarettes left at the scene -- ties Rodney Van Komen to the crime.

Van Komen, however, died in a car crash in 2005.

Police say VanKomen was a runaway who frequently stayed with a friend at Piernick's apartment complex.



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