Colorado detectives solve 1999 murder case

Colorado detectives solve 1999 murder case

Colorado Springs police detectives have solved a cold case of a murder committed more than 20 years ago. The suspect was identified using family DNA evidence.

In 1999, Jennifer Watkins was found dead under a stairwell in the area of Colorado Springs Memorial Hospital, which was under construction; she worked there as a dining room attendant. Her body was discovered two days after her husband reported her missing. She died of blunt force trauma to the head, and her death was ruled a homicide. The woman had also been raped.

Based on the evidence, semen found at the scene and on the victim’s pants, two different DNA profiles were developed from the victim. No matches were found, and the investigation was eventually closed. Later, genealogists and DNA experts were able to profile the killer – he was a white American man of about 25, with blue or green eyes, blond or brown hair and fair skin.

The suspect was identified this year. Ricky Severt was working in the maintenance department at Memorial Hospital at the time of the killing of Watkins. Severt was killed in a traffic accident Nov. 2, 2001, on Interstate 94 east of Colorado Springs. Because he was killed, the investigation into Watkins’ murder will be closed.