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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – After 51 years, investigators, family and friends are still searching to find the person responsible for the brutal murder of 15-year-old Marilee Burt.

Authorities said Sunday a reward of up to $30,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

Burt was last seen alive walking home in her cheerleading uniform after a basketball game at Goddard Junior High School in Littleton, on Feb. 26, 1970.

Marilee Burt. Photo credit: Metro Denver Crime Stoppers

Several independent witnesses reported seeing Burt walking a route that included Berry Drive, Bowles Avenue and Middlefield Road, but she never made it home.

The day after she disappeared, a Jefferson County road crew found Burt’s naked body in Deer Creek Canyon, several miles away from where she was last seen, and contacted law enforcement. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office collected evidence and interviewed witnesses.

Years after her death, investigators were able to create a DNA profile using evidence that was collected at the scene. The DNA found hasn’t yet yielded a match for the killer in local or federal databases, however investigators remain hopeful that whoever is responsible for the crime will be brought to justice.  

“The substantial increase to the reward hopefully allows us to collect more information to bring the suspect(s) in the Marilee Burt homicide to justice.” Arapahoe County Sheriff Tyler Brown said in a statement. “We continue the complex work required to follow up on leads in this case for Marilee and her family. The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s office is grateful for the commitment from community members to assist in bringing justice for victims of crime and victim’s families.”

Burt was last seen talking to someone in a vehicle that had stopped on South Middlefield Road. Her family began a frantic search and reported her as missing to Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

“This is not a cold case by any means. Every year we receive several tips on this case and we are hoping with the generosity of the anonymous donors that we will finally be able to identify who perpetrated this horrific crime against Marilee” said Michael Mills, Metro Denver Crime Stopper board president.

If you have information about this case, you are asked to please contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers and be eligible for a reward of up to $30,000. Call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers 720-913-7867 or submit a tip online.