Colorado Man Arrested For Double Murder After 39 Years

On the evening of January 6, 1982, two ladies have been murdered within the Rocky Mountain city of Breckenridge, Colorado. Practically 4 many years handed with out something to go on apart from a pair of orange socks linking the 2 crimes collectively. This 12 months, revolutionary genetic family tree led legislation enforcement to a well-known face — though they’d by no means thought of him as a suspect earlier than.

The Murders Of Barbara Oberholtzer And Annette Schnee

Within the dead of winter in 1982, Barbara “Bobbi Jo” Oberholtzer, 29, went out to a bar to have a good time a promotion at work. After telling her coworkers she’d hitch a trip again dwelling, she disappeared into the evening. The subsequent day, legislation enforcement discovered Oberholtzer’s physique with a bullet wound to the chest on the snowy summit of Hoosier’s Cross. Officers discovered her belongings scattered within the snow alongside the close by highway, together with a single orange sock. With none results in go on, Oberholtzer’s case stalled.

That was till six months later when officers found one other physique close to Breckenridge. This time, they discovered the sufferer face-down in a stream with a bullet wound to the again. They later recognized the physique as 22-year-old Annette Schnee, who had gone lacking the identical evening as Oberholtzer. Like Oberholtzer, Schnee deliberate to hitchhike dwelling that exact same evening. After officers matched a single orange sock Schnee was sporting to the one discovered close to Oberholtzer, they noticed the seemingly unrelated circumstances in a completely new mild. However with none bodily proof to tie anybody to the crimes, their killer walked free for many years.

Investigations Into The Murders

Investigators tossed round many names as doable suspects, together with Oberholtzer’s husband, Jeff. Close to Schnee’s stays, legislation enforcement discovered a backpack belonging to the sufferer. Officers discovered Jeff Oberholtzer’s enterprise card amongst Schee’s belongings. On the time, Jeff denied ever having met Schnee. His story modified later, and he admitted to giving her a trip as soon as. Whereas it’s a wierd coincidence, investigators cleared Jeff as a possible suspect. Officers went on to research and dismiss many different ideas and false confessions on the time.

That was till additional DNA testing revealed that blood discovered on Oberholtzer’s glove, whereas the identical blood kind, was not a match for Oberholtzer’s — signaling to investigators that it should belong to her killer. In 2020, investigators turned to genetic family tree testing in hopes of discovering a match. This revolutionary DNA testing, the identical utilized in genetic ancestry like 23andMe, additionally put Joseph James DeAngelo behind bars for his crimes as the Golden State Killer simply final 12 months.

And it was this check that narrowed the pool of possible suspects for Schnee and Oberholtzer’s murders down to 1 man: Alan Lee Phillips. Phillips hadn’t been on the police’s radar all through the investigation, however he wasn’t a stranger. The truth is, Phillips got here into contact with the police on the identical evening of the murders.

The Rescue Of Alan Lee Phillips

On the evening of January 6, 1982, Phillips’ truck turned stranded in a snowdrift off of a close-by mountain cross. With none solution to get out, Phillips flashed SOS together with his headlights. It was by full likelihood {that a} Jefferson County Sheriff occurred to be on an airline flight overhead. The sheriff alerted the flight crew who have been in a position to radio for rescue.

When legislation enforcement arrived on the scene, they discovered Phillips was barely intoxicated and had a big bruise on his face. He advised the officers a narrative about driving drunk and pulling off the highway to alleviate himself. He defined the bruise by claiming he bought blinded by the snow and hit his face on his truck. The officers, having no information but of the double murder dedicated earlier that evening, dismissed Phillips, insisting he was fortunate to be alive. For 38 years, his identify by no means got here up in connection to the crimes.

In February 2021, officers finally arrested Phillips for the kidnapping, assault, and homicide of each ladies. Earlier this month, Phillips confronted a preliminary listening to the place a Park County Decide ordered him to face trial for all expenses. Whereas Phillips remains to be awaiting trial, the victims’ households are lastly near the solutions they’ve waited 39 years for. | Colorado Man Arrested For Double Homicide After 39 Years

Huynh Nguyen

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