Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Wednesday, May 01, 2013

(VIDEO) Major Development: Charges filed in the 1998 murder of Kay Lynn Jackson





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Ada County Prosecutors Office 

Boise Police Department


           Boise, May 1, 2013 –  Boise Deputy Chief Pete Ritter and Chief of Staff for the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office Jan Bennetts today announced charges have been filed in the murder of Kay Lynn Jackson.

           Jackson, 22 was murdered April 5, 1998. Her body was found by a fisherman that morning, beneath theAmericanaBridge. She had been raped and murdered. At the time of her death, Kay Lynn was carrying her bible and walking to church. It was Palm Sunday, 1998.

Charged: Patrick Jon Zacharias, 40 – Rape, 1st degree Murder

            Zacharias currently resides in the Idaho State Correctional Facility inBoisewhere he has been since he was convicted of an unrelated crime in February, 2007. Detectives say a scientific evidence provided a major break in the case. 

            “We want to thank Kay Lynn’s family for the trust they placed in our police department that this day would come,” said Boise Deputy Chief Pete Ritter. “It’s been 15 years of investigation that have had moments of promise and frustration. More than 1,000 leads, some followed several times,  some that led to other states and even other countries were all investigated, before finally being able to focus on a suspect right here in Boise.

             “The lead detective, Mark Ayotte has worked this case since Kay Lynn’s death. His case  files have stayed on his desk,  never more than an arm’s length away. Detective Ayotte led a team that includes officers, investigators and support staff fromBoise, all overIdahoand indeed all over the country. Their hard work has led to this critical point in a case that has touched so many lives for 15 years.”

              "Kay Lynn’s case is an example of how law enforcement is never idle and ever vigilant in solving cold cases in the pursuit of justice," said Jan Bennetts, Chief of Staff for the Ada County Prosecutors Office. "It is an example of how investigators take a fresh look at their cold cases with each scientific advancement and with each and every lead." 

                The charges in this case are merely accusations.  Zacharias is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


Statment from Evelyn and Terry Jackson and Jennifer Lay, the family of Kay Lynn Jackson, read at today's press briefing:

April 5, 1998, our lives changed forever. We would like to thank the Boise Police Department for their continuous service these past 15 years to solve the case against our beloved Kay Lynn Jackson.050113 Jackson Presser - 2

Being a Christian, she attended church every Sunday. Her faith in God has kept us going these past years.

We want to thank our family, friends and community for their support over the years.


Statement from Boise Police Deputy Cheif Pete Ritter:

Welcome everyone and thank you for being here. I’m Deputy Chief Pete Ritter of the Boise Police Department. Chief Masterson is out of town on family business and can’t be here. Because of the sensitive nature of this case and the upcoming court proceedings, I will read some prepared statements.

We could only tell you this morning that this was a news briefing the citizens of our community would be very interested in and that you would not want to miss this opportunity to share the news.

We all have been waiting 15 years for this day. I am very pleased to be able to tell you, after 15 years, more than one-thousand leads, and hundreds of hours put in by detectives… Charges have been filed in the murder of Kay Lynn Jackson.

 Joining me this morning is Boise Police Det. Mark Ayotte

Ada County Prosecutor Chief of Staff Jan Bennetts

Deputy Prosecutor Scott Bandy

And we are especially grateful to Evelyn & Terry Jackson, Kay Lynn’s parents, and her sister, Jennifer Lay for being here. Mr and Mrs Jackson will have a statement for you in just a moment.

 April 5th, 1998 the body of Kay Lynn Jackson was found by a fisherman beneath theAmericanaBridge. The 22 year old, carrying her bible and walking to church that Palm Sunday had been sexually assaulted and murdered.

Detective Mark Ayotte was called to be the lead detective in the case that morning. Again, he stands behind me today, still on the case. That day began 15 years of investigation that have had moments of promise and moments of frustration. Det. Ayotte pursued leads that went throughoutIdahoand the world.

In February, 1999 – ten months after Kay Lynn’s death, Detective Ayotte was quoted in an article published in the Idaho Statesman newspaper saying,..  “I have faith that a DNA profile taken from on-scene evidence will ultimately provide information that will give a name to Jackson’s killer.” 

Today we have a suspect’s name.

050113 Jackson Presser - 4Patrick Jon Zacharias, 40 has been charged with rape and murder in the first degree in the death of Kay Lynn Jackson.

Zacharias currently resides in the Idaho State Correctional Facility inBoisewhere he has been since February of 2007.

Zacharias is currently serving a life sentence for Lewd Conduct with a minor under 16, a crime he committed in BoiseAugust 8th of 2006. He was arrested by Boise Police and members of the Treasure Valley Metro Task Force August 14th, 2006. He was convicted and sentenced for Lewd Conduct with a minor child in February, 2007.

During his incarceration, a sample of Zacharias’s DNA was taken and entered into a national crime information database, which led to a major break in this case as Detective Ayotte predicted some 14 years ago..

 For Boise Police, Kay Lynn’s case has been active and open since Kay Lynn was killed April 5, 1998.

 Det. Mark Ayotte and his team exhausted more than one-thousand leads in this case,  some leads were followed several times, and as I said, some led to other states and other countries, and some were received as recently as just a few months ago.

 The case files in Kay Lynn’s case have remained on Det. Ayotte’s desk never more than an arm’s reach away .

Today, Det, Ayotte is unable to comment on the case publically as he will be a member of the prosecution team moving forward.

If I may be so bold as to speak for, not only members of the Boise Police Department, but for our community when I say Thank You to Det Ayotte for your dedication… and to all the officers who have worked on Kay Lynn’s case, hoping that work would lead us to the charges we can announce today.

 To Kay Lynn’s family …we say thank you for your trust in us that this day would come.

We know the people ofBoiseand theTreasureValleyremember Kay Lynn. We know she and her family have been prayed for.  We know citizens have joined us in caring about this case and never losing hope that we would – one day – be able to name a suspect in Kay Lynn’s  death.

 We’ve spent 15 years searching for answers for this community and for Kay Lynn’s family. Kay Lynn came from a close and loving family. No family deserves to go through what they have endured.

 It is for the memory of Kay Lynn, a truly innocent victim, and because of the trust her family placed in us that has kept us on the case.

 Please remember, the filing of charges in Kay Lynn Jackson’s case marks a major step but just one more step in the process of justice for Kay Lynn. There may be more questions and more answers will come but they must now come in the due process of our court system.

 This case is now in the very capable hands of the Ada County Prosecutor’s office.

The family has asked us to ask members of the media to respect their privacy from this point forward.

Finally –thank you to the Patrol officers, detectives, victim witness services, crime lab specialists… fromBoise,IdahoState Police and federal agencies who have all stayed on this case.

Countless law enforcement agencies from all over the world have assisted Boise Police in searching for justice for Kay Lynn. Some employees have ended their law enforcement careers without having the answers they worked so hard to find.

 Again, our announcement today is a major step… but just one more step in bringing justice to Kay Lynn, her family and this community.

 You may have more questions than we have been able to answer here today. However, because of the need to protect the integrity of the court process, we cannot take any questions at this time. Instead, we urge you to follow this case as it moves through the justice system.             

Thank you.


Statement from Ada County Prosecutor Chief of Staff Jan Bennetts:

On April 5, 1998, our community was shaken by the murder of 22-year old Kay Lynn Jackson. 050113 Jackson Presser - 3

Fifteen years later, I am pleased to announce that an Ada County Grand Jury has returned an Indictment charging Patrick Jon Zacharias with Kay Lynn’s rape and first degree murder, bringing Kay Lynn’s family one step closer to justice. 

Kay Lynn’s case is an example of how law enforcement is never idle and ever vigilant in solving cold cases in the pursuit of justice.  

It is an example of how investigators take a fresh look at their cold cases with each scientific advancement and with each and every lead.

I want to personally thank the Boise Police Department and Detective Mark Ayotte for their tireless efforts in investigating this case, pursuing every lead and ensuring that Kay Lynn’s murder was never forgotten.

I know this case has been a constant and heavy weight on Detective Ayotte’s shoulders.

 We are grateful to Kay Lynn’s family for their strength and for their support of our office.

Our work now begins. 

We have assigned two senior trial prosecutors to handle this case, Scott Bandy and Shelley Akamatsu.  They have been working very hard on this case in cooperation with the Boise Police Department.

It is important for all involved that the facts and details of this case be revealed through the court proceedings and not in this setting here today.  However, I can tell you:

-        Mr. Zacharias was transported from the prison, where he resides, to the ACJ where he was served with the arrest warrant.

-        He is currently being held without bond. 

-        He will be in court this afternoon at 1:30 for an initial appearance, at which time the Magistrate Judge will schedule a formal arraignment before the assigned district judge.

-        The maximum penalty for first degree murder is life in prison.

 We look forward to the work ahead in our pursuit of justice.