The FBI is investigating a “credible” lead in the “D.B. Cooper” skyjacking case in which a man hijacked a plane for $200,000 in ransom in 1971 and parachuted into the night with the bag full of cash, the Seattle Times reports.

One of the $20 bills that skyjacker D.B. Cooper had when he parachuted from a plane with his ransom in 1971.
By LM Otero, AP

Ayn Sadalo Dietrich, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Seattle office, cautions that the agency is not on the verge of a big break but is carrying out “due diligence” on new information, the paper says.

Dietrich was responding to a lengthy article on the case by the British newspaper The Telegraph.

She says the FBI, responding to a tip, is trying to extract a fingerprint from an item linked to a potential suspect and compare it with one taken from the Boeing 727 after the Thanksgiving Eve skyjacking.

READ:  The Telegraph’s article

Dietrich tells the newspaper that FBI agents have sent an item belonging to the potential suspect for testing at its forensics lab at Quantico, Va.

“We’re hoping there are fingerprints they can take off of it,” she says. “It would be a significant lead. And this is looking like our most promising one to date.”

Fox News reports that FBI is trying to match DNA sample from the person with a sample taken from Cooper’s tie, which he left behind on the plane.

In the hijacking, “Cooper” claimed to have a bomb and forced the plane to land, where he obtained parachutes and the ransom money. He bailed out somewhere northwest of Portland.

Some of the money was found by a child digging in a sandbar along the Columbia River in 1980, but the whereabouts of “Cooper” remains a mystery, assuming that he survived the jump from 10,000 feet.