Suspect Charged in Two Cold Case Homicides — Dozens More Being Reviewed

A review of unsolved murders by the LVMPD Homicide Section has resulted in the arrest of a potential serial killer.

On August 9, 2012, Nathan Burkett, 65 years of age of Picayune Mississippi, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center charged with two Las Vegas Homicides.
Burkett is charged in the April 22, 1978 slaying of Barbara Ann Cox, 22 years of age of Las Vegas. Cox’s strangled body was discovered inside an apartment complex at 211 West Bonanza Road where Burkett also resided. He is also charged with the February 20, 1994 slaying of Tina Gayle Mitchell, 27 years of age of Las Vegas. Mitchell’s body was located behind an apartment complex at 902 H Street, approximately one-half mile away from where Cox’s body was found. The Clark County Coroner also ruled the cause of Mitchell’s death as strangulation.

Recently returned DNA evidence identified Burkett as the suspect in both crimes. Photographs of both Cox and Mitchell accompany this release, as well as four photographs of Burkett; his current booking photograph, a prior booking photograph, and two photographs taken last night of Burkett entering the Clark County Detention Center. The oldest of the booking photographs was taken in September, 1998, when Burkett was arrested on the charge of ex-felon failure to change address.

Burkett’s local criminal history includes arrests for:


Murder and first degree kidnap; October 2003, Battery domestic violence with no prior conviction; December 2002, Contempt of court and battery domestic violence, three counts; July 2000, Ex-felon failure to change address; March 1998 and August 1997, Sexual Assault; July 1996, Battery; January 1994, Disorderly conduct; March 1979, Battery with a deadly weapon; February 1979, Battery, kidnap and rape; August 1978, Robbery; June 1978, Protective custody – drunk in public; September 1977, Drunk in public; December 1976, Trespassing; July 1976, and Disorderly conduct in both August and September 1975.

Burkett’s October 2003 arrest for murder and first degree kidnapping stemmed from the September 4, 2002 homicide of Valetter Jean Bousley, 41 years of age of Las Vegas. Bousley was found strangled to death in an alcove adjacent to 1312 F Street, approximately one-quarter of a mile from where Mitchell’s body was discovered in 1994. Burkett was ultimately convicted of voluntary manslaughter for this crime, and served approximately 72 months of a 115 month sentence.

There are approximately 1015 unsolved homicides housed in the LVMPD cold case files. Several of these cases have been identified as potentially being committed by Burkett. The re-examination of the LVMPD cold case files which led to Burkett’s arrest was made possible in part by a $499,695.00 Department of Justice DNA grant, awarded to LVMPD in September 2009.

For additional information concerning this arrest please view the LVMPD video entitled “Potential Serial Killer Arrested”. This video may be accessed via the internet at: http://youtu.be/nK3LW1ppv40.

The investigation into these cases remains ongoing. Anyone with any information concerning these cases or any LVMPD cold case, or any information concerning Nathan Burkett, is urged to contact the LVMPD Homicide Section at 828-3521 or Crime Stoppers by phone at 385-5555 or on the internet at www.crimestoppersofnv.com.