Decades-Old Colorado Murder Finally Solved Through DNA Evidence | Inside Edition

Decades-Old Colorado Murder Finally Solved Through DNA Evidence

Deborah Tomlinson (Grand Junction Police)
Deborah Tomlinson (Grand Junction Police)

The homicide of 19-year-old Deborah Tomlinson, which happened in Dec. 1975, went cold after police weren’t able to find enough evidence in the case.

A Colorado police department announced that a 45-year-old cold case has finally been solved. The homicide of 19-year-old Deborah Tomlinson, which happened in Dec. 1975, went cold after police weren’t able to find enough evidence in the case but in 2019, authorities took a fresh look at it.

On Dec 27, 1975, Grand Junction Police officers responded to an apartment complex after a caller told police a woman was dead inside one of the units. Officers found Tomlinson dead. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled. But they weren’t able to find any major leads in the case.

In 2020, after the case was re-opened, police reached out to Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company in Virginia, for help. Parabon analyzed a genetic data profile created from an unknown crime scene DNA sample and ran it through a public genetic genealogy database, according to CBS Denver. From there, the company was able to narrow down a list of people who may have been involved.

Through police work, authorities identified Jimmy Dean Duncan as a suspect. Detectives obtained DNA from one of Duncan’s relatives and compared it to DNA found at the crib scene. It was a match, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Duncan, a Colorado native, was 26 at the time of the murder. He died in 1987, however.

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