Police Crack 50-Year-Old Cold Case Murder Of Colorado Newlywed
Betty Lee Jones was last seen alive getting into a stranger’s car after arguing with her husband.
DNA evidence has linked a deceased man to the 50-year-old cold case murder of a Colorado newlywed.
According to a Boulder County Sheriff’s Office news release, on Mar. 8, 1970, Betty Lee Jones, 23, and her husband of nine days had an argument at their Denver home “culminating in Robert Jones leaving the residence in his car and Ms. Jones trying to flag down cars in the street…”
Jones, a mother of two, then “got into a blue sedan that had stopped and was last seen in that car,” the sheriff’s office said.
The following day, Colorado Department of Transportation workers found Jones’ body off a highway near the Boulder and Jefferson county border. She had been sexually assaulted, strangled and shot.
Police were unable to solve the murder.
In 2006, law enforcement reopened the cold case and sent DNA evidence to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. However, it was not a match with any profiles in a national database and the case again went cold.
Last year, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office provided a DNA sample to the private lab Bode Technologies, which developed the profile of a possible suspect.
CBI and the Federal Bureau of Investigation then used forensic genealogy to create a family tree and narrow down the suspect pool to a Denver family. The agencies zeroed in on Paul Leroy Martin, who had died in June 2019.
Authorities exhumed Martin’s body, and his DNA was reportedly a match with the sample collected from the victim’s body.
The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said Martin, according to relatives, had “no known link” to Jones but used to drive a blue mid-to-late 1960s Plymouth Fury sedan that was similar to the description of the car eyewitnesses saw the victim get into the day she disappeared.
“Every cold case homicide represents a tragic and unexplained loss,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said in the news release. “These victims deserve justice.”
“Their families deserve answers and some form of closure, but the investigative trail has gone cold — unless and until someone like Detective Steve Ainsworth takes it up,” he noted of the investigator whose years of “diligent work and tenacity” helped solve the case.
The district attorney added Martin, if he were still alive, would have been charged and prosecuted for Jones’ murder.
Read more: Associated Press