DENVER (KDVR) — A man sentenced to 25 years in prison for a murder and sexual assault in Florida was extradited to Colorado to face murder charges related to a case from 1996.

The Denver District Attorney’s Office says Ricky Dawson, 62, is facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted sexual assault related to the murder of Terri Turachak.

Timeline of the investigation

The Denver Police Department said the investigation started on Oct. 5, 1996, when officers and medical personal were called to 1927 E. 17th Ave. for reports of a person who was possibly dead.

When police arrived at the apartment, they found Turachak with no pulse. She was later pronounced dead.

The Denver Coroner’s Office determined that Turachak died of strangulation and blunt force trauma to her head.

DNA was removed from her body.

Florida murder

In 2004, the DNA was matched to Dawson who was in custody for second-degree murder and sexual assault in Panama City, Florida. He was eventually sentenced to 25 years in prison for that case.

Possible Seattle murder

Also in 2004, the Seattle, Washington Police Department had DNA from a 2000 murder and sexual assault that was matched to Dawson, according to arrest documents.

The victim in this case died of strangulation and blunt force trauma, which is the same as the Denver murder victim.

Warrant issued

Following a lengthy investigation, including years of interviews and evidence testing, a warrant was issued for Dawson in Colorado on Jan. 27.

Dawson was extradited to Colorado from Florida and advised of murder charges related to the death of Turachak on Feb. 23.

He is scheduled to appear in court on March 23.

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.

Here are some of the other cases we’ve highlighted:

If you ever have a cold case you would like us to feature, please fill out this form or send an email to

The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System shows there over 20,000 open missing persons cases in the United States and over 300 in Colorado.