JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. – Metro Denver Crime Stoppers, in partnership with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Subway Franchise World Headquarters announced Thursday that the reward has increased to up to $12,000 for information in the Feb.14, 2000 double homicide of Stephanie Hart-Grizzell and Nicolas Kunselman
“We still get tips. Recently, we got a tip in the last couple of weeks. A lot of the tips we have received over 20 years are people’s hunches or theories or rumors they have heard. We don’t want to discourage anybody from coming forward with any information they feel like sharing. The information we are really looking for is people who have knowledge or firsthand knowledge specifically of what took place, what led up to the murders, during the murders, or after the murders. What they heard or know. 20 years is a long time, a lot of people’s lives have changed. People’s circumstances change. We are hoping they are willing to share what they have kept secret for 20 years," Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office homicide investigator Elias Alberti said.
On Feb. 14, 2000, at about 12:47 a.m., high school sweethearts Nicholas Kunselman and Stephanie Hart-Grizzell were killed in a Subway sandwich shop a few blocks south of Columbine High School.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office responded to the restaurant after an employee drove past and noticed the lights still on inside. The employee entered the restaurant and found the bodies of Nick and Stephanie behind the counter. After further investigation, it was determined that Stephanie and Nick had been shot by an unknown intruder or intruders. Nick was an employee of Subway and Stephanie was at the restaurant waiting for him to get off work.
Sarah Johnston with Metro Denver Crime Stoppers said this is one of the most talked about cold cases.
"People remember this case. I’ve been with Crime Stoppers for a long time. The thing that stands out with this case is how often we are asked about it, whether it's asking when we're going to post about it, asking for updates or people reaching out to us and want it to be solved," she said.
Alberti said he works on this case every day and has the sketches of a person seen leaving the restaurant the night of the murders hanging above his desk.
“The reason there are two of them are because two of the witnesses gave their own separate interpretation of what the suspect looked like seen leaving the Subway," he said.
Alberti also said there’s a reason they have not released many of the details about the case.
“There are some things in this case we don’t talk about, we don’t share and keys to the case that we don’t let the general public know. The reason why is because we have had people try to admit to this before and we were able to use that information we haven’t released to verify those people weren’t telling the truth," he said.
Alberti doesn’t know how many people were involved in the murders, but he believes there are people in the community that know.
"I know there are people that have information in this case that haven't come forward and said something," he said.
Our partners at Metro Denver Crime Stoppers are encouraging those people to come forward now.
"What we've done for the 20th anniversary of this case is work with Subway headquarters and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office to increase the reward," Johnston said.
If you have information, call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. Tips can also be submitted online. Tipsters can remain anonymous.