DNA technology helps solve nearly 40-year-old cold case homicide

Donna Macho, 19, went missing from her parents’ East Windsor home on Feb. 26, 1984. Her remains were not found until 11 years later on April 2, 1995.

Matt Trapani and Naomi Yané

Apr 27, 2023, 1:50 AM

Updated 443 days ago

Share:

The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General has announced that a cold case that is nearly 40 years old has been solved, thanks to better DNA technology.
Donna Macho, 19, went missing from her parents’ East Windsor home on Feb. 26, 1984. Her remains were not found until 11 years later on April 2, 1995, in a wooded area in Cranbury.
Officials have identified the man who killed Macho as Nathaniel Harvey. They say that Macho’s remains were found near a farm where Harvey briefly worked, and that Macho’s car was found within walking distance of Harvey’s home.
Police say Harvey was a possible suspect early on in the investigation because of his criminal history and the fact that his semen was found in Macho’s bedroom. However, DNA testing was still in its infancy in 1984 and they couldn't identify a match.
The investigation was reopened last year and was presented to the Cold Case Task Force 27 years after Mach’s remains were found. DNA evidence and fingerprints were resubmitted and re-tested using modern-day technology
Harvey died in prison three years ago when he was doing time for another crime.
News 12 has reached out to Harvey’s attorney at the time, Eric Kleiner. He says that he has concerns about the validity of the DNA testing. Kleiner declined to be interviewed until more information regarding the DNA testing is available.


More from News 12