DENVER (KDVR) — For 36 years, the sheriff’s office searched for answers to a cold case homicide in Jackson County. Through new technology, the victim was identified as Jerry Mikkelson.

Now, they’re looking for his killer.

On Aug. 8, 1983, the 24-year-old willingly left his home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Four years later, Mikkelson’s remains were found. At the time, he was labeled as a John Doe.

His remains were found on a U.S. Forest Service road located 15 miles north of Walden and 5 miles from the Wyoming border. That’s where the case went cold until 36 years later, when Mikkelson’s remains were exhumed this year on June 28.

With new DNA samples and the discovery of a surgical titanium rod in his right femur, the unidentified body was discovered to be Mikkelson, who had a rod in his leg because of a broken femur six years before he died.

According to the missing persons report filed by a family member, it’s believed he spent time in Pittsburgh; Olathe, Kansas; Wyoming; and possibly Colorado.

Mikkelson was described as 5 feet 9 inches tall and about 160 pounds at the time of his disappearance. Mikkelson had brown eyes and curly brown hair.

If you have any information about Mikkelson or the homicide, you can submit a tip
to or by leaving a message on the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office tip line at 970-875-7069.