BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — More than 16 years after a woman was found buried in a shallow grave, a man has been arrested in her murder.
The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office said John Angerer, 53, was arrested in Anchorage Alaska on a charge of second-degree murder. He is suspected of killing Angela Wilds in 2006.
“I am glad that we were able move our investigation into the homicide of Angela Wilds forward. I am proud that our detectives didn’t give up on this cold case, we know Angela’s family has been waiting a long time for this day to come. Her family is in our thoughts as we take the next steps in the judicial process,” Boulder County Sheriff Curtis Johnson shared in a statement announcing the arrest.
Timeline of the investigation
On June 4, 2006, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office said hikers found a decomposing body a few miles from Lyons in the South Saint Vrain Canyon.
Deputies and detectives discovered that the female body appeared to have been pulled from a shallow grave by a predator.
Because of the condition of the woman’s body, investigators were unable to identify her by her fingerprints.
The coroner’s office was not able to determine the cause of the woman’s death due to the condition of her body. However, investigators believed her death was suspicious because her body had been buried.
The sheriff’s office asked the public for tips to try and identify the victim.
“Numerous tips were followed up on, including information of missing women from around the country. At the time, I recall how sad it was because of the huge number of missing women in the metro area and country and what the family members were going through,” Jason Oehlkers with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office told FOX31 in July of 2022.
Oehlkers said the sheriff’s office followed up on hundreds of names while using resources from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Colorado Bureau of Investigations, and other places to try and identify the victim.
In October 2006, the sheriff’s office received a tip from a friend of the victim who reported her missing. Using DNA comparisons, the sheriff’s office confirmed the victim was 38-year-old Angela Wilds from the Longmont area.
In 2009, Oehlkers said investigators received information from CBI linking Angerer to the crime scene through DNA. Angerer was eventually arrested. However, at a hearing a judge determined there was not enough evidence to move forward with a prosecution.
The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office and the district attorney’s office continued to to work on the case and identified new witnesses, re-interviewed people previously known to law enforcement, consulted with forensic pathologists, and submitted more items to the Colorado Bureau of
Investigation for testing and DNA analysis.
On Feb.16, 2023, the district attorney’s office presented the case to the grand jury. The grand jury returned an indictment of second-degree murder against Angerer.
“We are determined to secure justice for the murder of Angela Wilds, some closure for her loved ones, and answers for our community. I am grateful for the tireless efforts and dedication of the investigators and prosecutors on this case. We sincerely appreciate the time and service of the grand jurors. Today’s announcement is an important step; we are committed to the work ahead,” District Attorney Michael Dougherty explained in a statement following the announcement of the arrest.
Angerer will be extradited back to Colorado to face the murder charge.
Highlighting cold cases in Colorado
There are hundreds of unsolved homicide cases, long-term missing person cases, and unidentified remains cases in our state where at least three years have passed since the crime happened.
The Colorado cold case task force created a list of those cases dating back to 1970. The Problem Solvers are working to highlight cold cases in our state each week, including Wilds’ case, which we featured in July of 2022.
Highlighting cold cases in Colorado
Here are some of the other cases we’ve highlighted:
- Cold case: Who murdered this young mom in 1985?
- Cold case: What happened to this woman who disappeared in 1990?
- Cold case: Who killed this 10-year-old boy in 1991?
- Cold case: Who murdered Stephanie Bauman 42 years ago?
- Cold case: Who murdered Jennifer Larsen 27 years ago?
- Cold case: Who shot David Williams to death in 2005?
- Cold case: Who murdered Maggie Long 1,651 days ago?
- Cold case: What happened to Elizabeth Miller 40 years ago?
- Cold case: Who kidnapped Christopher Abeyta 35 years ago?
- Cold case: Who killed JonBenét Ramsey 25 years ago?
- Cold case: Who killed Jessica Bejarano 15 years ago
- Cold case: Where is Terri Ackerman?
- Cold case: Who killed Richard Elliott at a grocery store 23 years ago?
- ‘Don’t ever give up hope’: Cold case: Who killed Edward Steinbach?
- Cold Case: Who killed Denise Davenport 37 years ago?
- Cold case: Who murdered James O’Neal Johnson 23 years ago?
- Cold case: Where is Jennifer Lynn Marcum?
- Cold case: Who murdered Daniel Lell in Aurora in 2013?
- Missing: Highlighting the search for people missing in Colorado
- 18 people remain unidentified in Denver since 1970
If you ever have a cold case you would like us to feature, please fill out this form or send an email to email@example.com-
The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System shows there are over 20,000 open missing persons cases in the United States and over 300 in Colorado.