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DB Cooper Case Solved? Witness Marla Cooper Says FBI May Soon Close Investigation

First Posted: 12/05/11 05:15 PM ET Updated: 12/05/11 05:22 PM ET

Forty years after a man in a suit commandeered a 727 jet and parachuted into the night carrying $200,000, federal investigators may be close to cracking the only unsolved airplane hijacking in U.S. history.

The FBI could soon solve the mystery of DB Cooper, the man sought by authorities since the 1971 hijacking of a Northwest Orient Airlines flight from Portland to Seattle, according to a witness who has been described by the agency as credible, NWCN reports.

Investigators are currently attempting to link fingerprints left behind on the airplane with fingerprints obtained from the toothbrush of a man known as LD Cooper, the uncle of a tipster who contacted authorities with suspicions about her relative earlier this year.

Marla Cooper says her uncle was injured when he arrived at her family's home in Sisters, Ore. the day after the hijacking, but he blamed his wounds on a car crash.

"I knew he did it, it wasn't speculation, I was there when he pulled into the driveway," Marla Cooper told the news station.

LD Cooper died in 1999.

The hijacker bought his ticket under the alias "Dan Cooper," but news reports misidentified his name as DB Cooper.

The FBI won't comment on the specifics of the investigation, but Marla Cooper says a lead investigator informed her that the case was winding down.

"Regardless of the findings of the fingerprints, he told me the case was closing because they were certain my uncle did it," she said, according to told the news station.

The agency recently confirmed that it has started conducting forensic tests on evidence including partial fingerprints that could be linked to the hijacking.

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Filed by Ben Muessig  |