Arrest made in 1985 Douglas County cold case

Local News

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (KDVR) — Douglas County investigators made an arrest in the 1985 homicide of Roger Dean.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock and District Attorney John Kellner announced they arrested 64-year-old Michael Jefferson, who lived in Colorado during the time of Dean’s death.

“This is one of those bittersweet days, we have been working on a cold case for over 36 years and it has come to a conclusion,” Spurlock said.

Spurlock was the lead investigator for this case at the time, and worked a subsequent case in 1990 involving an extortion attempt of Dean’s family.

“November 21, 1985 an individual we’ve since identified as Michael Jefferson entered Roger Dean’s family home in Lone Tree,” Spurlock said. “There was scuffle inside of the home, it appears he was trying to rob him and a short time later the suspect shot Roger Dean five times.”

Jefferson was extradited to Colorado from Los Angeles on April 6. He faces charges of murder in the first degree after deliberation, and kidnapping. His status conference is scheduled for April 14.

“The level of dedication shown by our law enforcement partners to get us where we are today is truly remarkable,” Kellner said. 

Both the district attorney and sheriff remained tight lipped on where the DNA came from during Friday’s press conference. However, an affidavit obtained by the FOX31 Problem Solvers shows genetic genealogy from DNA on a ski mask left at the crime scene led investigators on a path to Jefferson’s family tree.

The affidavit also says investigators got on a Spirit flight Jefferson was taking and collected a DNA sample from a water bottle he drank while on the flight. A report explains the DNA profiles from the ski mask and water bottle matched.

“It is very satisfying to know we have technology today that we can utilize from evidence collected from 36 years ago maintained appropriately and properly that can bring us to a suspect that we can now present to the court as an individual that is responsible for the murder,” Spurlock said. 

You can re-watch the press conference on FOX31 NOW in the video below.

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