The January arrest of a suspect in a ten-year-old cold case renews hope that their day will come, said Private Investigator Charlie McCormick of Breckenridge. McCormick and District Attorney Investigator Betty Royse are two members of the 11th Judicial District Homicide Task Force. The Task Force is actively involved in keeping the search alive for a suspect or suspects in the 1982 murders of Annette Schnee and Bobbie Jo Oberholtzer. Even after 26 years, new leads are developed and investigators hope to find members of the public who can provide insights into some new information released in the case.
At the end of January 2008, there was exciting news for homicide investigators in Boulder. A DNA match was found in the case of the brutal rape and murder of 23-year-old Susannah Chase that occurred in December of 1997. Chase was raped, beaten with a baseball bat, and left for dead in an alley near her home in Boulder. Investigators struggled with the case for ten years until the big break came in the form of an entry in the national DNA database. Suspect Diego Olmos-Alcalde was connected to the Chase murder by a DNA profile entry from a Wyoming crime lab. Olmos-Alcalde was imprisoned in Wyoming on a felony kidnapping charge, but his DNA information was not released until he missed a meeting with his parole officer in 2007.
(Photo left: Diego Olmos-Alcalde 1998, suspect in Chase murder)
Investigators in the 26-year-old Park County and Summit County cold case are hoping such a break will finally put to rest the mystery surrounding the murders of Annette Schnee and Bobbie Jo Oberholtzer. In 1982, when the murders occurred, the science of DNA was not available. Today, DNA collected from crime evidence has been entered into the database, searching for a match and some long-awaited answers.
The Oberholtzer-Schnee double homicide, like the Chase murder, is "cold, with lots of minor leads, but with the very real possibility of being solved," said McCormick. "I believe it is reasonable to conclude that the man (or men) responsible for the truly brutal and senseless killing of Bobbie Jo and Annette on that horrible cold night didn't just go into the seminary the next day and reform. Most likely, they went on to other violent criminal acts which most likely would have been the cause of them eventually entering the criminal justice system."
Can You Help Investigators?
Do you have any recollection of Old Colorado License Plate ZD-25
or information on:
Anyone with any information or tips on possible owner of old local license plate is asked to contact investigators
(see image below)Former Placer Valley residents sought Note: These individuals are sought for possible information only and not as suspects..
Do you remember two brothers who rented a house in Placer Valley known as the Chicken Coop? (2191 Park County Road 6 near Alma) Other information on the brothers:
-Employed by NORDIC PLUMBING, a 1980s local business owned and operated by Fairplay resident, Brian Nordby
-They may have been from Kentucky or Tennessee.
-The younger brother may have just married at the time and had a small infant child
-They drove a gray Chevrolet or Dodge van
(Information released by Investigators)
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McCormick and Royse believe that the DNA match could be out there, but the database entry may have been delayed. "As the Chase case illustrates, the DNA system is full of potholes which could miss or delay the entry into CODIS of some really violent offenders," McCormick said. He explains that fifteen states (not including Colorado) have unentered DNA information backlogged for years. In the Chase case, the suspect was set free and on the streets from his parole date of July 19, 2007 until his arrest January 26, 2008, according to McCormick.
Royse hopes that the families of Annette and Bobbie Jo will finally have some answers. She encourages people to provide tips and recollections from the early 1980s. "No cold case is ever 'over' and hope exists," said Royse. She asks local residents from that time period to either contact her at 719-836-2080 with any - even small and seemingly insignificant - details or memories that might help with the case. "Even tiny pieces of information can solve a case when combined with other tiny pieces of the puzzle," Royse said. Anonymous tips can be provided by contacting Crime-Stoppers at 1-866-453-STOP (7867), or information may be sent by email through the case website at www.rockymountaincoldcase.com.
Information sought on old local license plate