Decades-Old Cold Case Murder Solved: Genetic Genealogy Identifies Killer

In a stunning breakthrough, the Westminster police have finally cracked a nearly five-decade-old cold case murder that has haunted the community for years. Using cutting-edge genetic genealogy techniques, investigators have identified the killer of 20-year-old Teree Becker, bringing an end to decades of unanswered questions.

Teree Becker, a vibrant young woman who had recently moved to the Denver area from Casper, Wyoming, was found dead in a field near 100th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard on December 6, 1975. Just two days prior, she had attempted to hitchhike to visit her boyfriend in Adams County Jail in Brighton. Tragically, her life was cut short, as her autopsy revealed that she had been raped and died of asphyxiation.

For years, multiple police departments tirelessly investigated the case, but it wasn’t until 2003 that a breakthrough occurred. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation managed to extract a piece of male DNA from evidence related to the rape. However, it took another ten years before a potential match emerged.

In 2013, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department submitted a DNA sample for a similar rape and murder case in their jurisdiction. Astonishingly, the DNA matched the one found in Teree Becker’s case. Unfortunately, Las Vegas authorities were unable to identify a suspect in their own investigation.

The case took another turn in 2018 when genetic genealogy testing was employed to analyze hereditary DNA. After five years of meticulous testing, the police finally identified Thomas Elliott as a match. Elliott, who had a history of criminal activities and had taken his own life in 1991, was revealed to be the long-sought-after killer.

In a significant development, Las Vegas police obtained permission to exhume Elliott’s body in October 2023. The subsequent DNA analysis confirmed his connection to both homicides, providing closure to the families of the victims.

“We are thrilled we were able to solve this cold case and hopefully bring closure to the friends and family of Teree Becker,” stated the Westminster Police Department.

Teree Becker’s family remembers her as a friendly and outgoing young woman who had a passion for painting and music. The resolution of this case brings a glimmer of justice to her memory and offers hope to other families still waiting for answers.

As the Westminster community grapples with the revelation of this long-hidden truth, it serves as a reminder that justice can prevail, even after decades of uncertainty. The tireless efforts of law enforcement and advancements in forensic technology have once again brought a cold-blooded killer to light, ensuring that no crime goes unpunished, no matter how much time has passed.


Author: CrimeDoor

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