It was a shocking act of violence in a quiet suburban neighborhood. Now, 34 years later, Brighton Police are taking a closer look at the unsolved murder of Cathleen Krauseneck in 1982.

A murder so brutal and out of the ordinary, it drew national attention to the Town of Brighton at the time. 

No one was ever charged with the crime as thye case went cold after police had no suspects or fingerprints to go off of.

It’s because of these types of cases the FBI created a new program providing their resources to local departments to solve old crimes. That’s exactly what’s happening here.

29-year-old Cathleen Krauseneck was found brutally murdered in her home, with an ax in her head. At the time, the Krauseneck’s three-year-old daughter was home when her body was found by her husband, James.

Not long after the murder, James Krauseneck left town. The investigation came to a stand-still, but the case was never closed.

Brighton Police Chief Mark Henderson said, “the purpose of this review is to bring justice for a young mother, a young person that was murdered…and to bring closure to the family.”

Brighton Police and the FBI recently started working together with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.
Investigators re-interviewed witnesses in the case, traveling to three different states including Washington, where James Krauseneck resides.

“We are now into a phase where we are going to take the evidence that we have at the Brighton Police Department and ship it to Quantico, the FBI crime lab, in my estimation the best in the business.”

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jeremy Bell said, “we’re able to provide analytical and forensic expertise, and like I said the working group was formed to help (police departments) on cases like this.”

Cases forgotten by many, but pursued by a few. Including Brighton PD Investigator Mark Liberatore. He’s looked over the early reports that indicated what happened in this Del Rio Drive home was a burglary, but he’s now confident new technology will lead them in a different direction. One that will end with an arrest.

“I’d say the last three and a half to four months, 100% of my time is dedicated to this. We are not wasting time here. We are making some good progress, I think the public needs to know that, and I’m very optimistic as to what the outcome of this case is going to be,” said Liberatore.

Investigators would not tell us if they have any suspects or persons of interest at this time. It will take some time for the FBI’s lab work to show results, which they expect will help move the investigation forward.