Testimony: Nemnich’s employer helped in arrest

Working in cooperation with his employer, Mesa County law enforcement arrested Jerry Nemnich in April 2009 near Loma after a Front Range trucking firm agreed to change Nemnich’s route to bring him through Colorado.

Westco Express Inc., a trucking company based in Commerce City, agreed to a request by local authorities to change Nemnich’s scheduled route through Interstate 70, from California, in order to bring his semi-tractor trailer through the Loma port of entry, where Nemnich was met by investigators on April 8, 2009, according to testimony this morning from Grand Junction police detective Sean Crocker.

Nemnich, 65, had been under “passive surveillance” by the Longmont Police Department in the weeks leading up Nemnich’s arrest, which involved officers checking up on Nemnich certain times of the day and obtaining photos of him, Crocker testified. Nemnich was born in Longmont, where he lived with his wife.

Local authorities had been working — a task force including the Grand Junction Police Department, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office — to learn more about Nemnich after CBI authorities confirmed in January 2009 that Nemnich’s DNA profile was present on several blood samples taken from the home of Linda Benson, who along with her daughter, Kelley, were found stabbed to death July 25, 1975.

The jury this morning also heard from Larry Bullard, the retired 32-year law enforcement veteran who initially volunteered his time to re-open a cold investigation into the Benson murders.

Among other testimony, Bullard today told the jury that he ruled out serial killer Ted Bundy in the July 1975 slayings, based largely on Bundy’s known location that month.

Bundy confessed to more than 30 murders involving young women between 1974 and 1978, including the slaying of 24-year-old Denise Oliverson in Grand Junction who went missing in April 1975. Bundy confessed to the local killing, among others, shortly before he was executed in Florida in 1989.

Bullard said a trail of credit card receipts nationwide establish Bundy’s movements during the time frame.

“He was at school, at home in Salt Lake City (at time of Benson murders),” Bullard said. “It took me a couple weeks before I ruled him out.” .

Read the full story in Thursday’s Daily Sentinel.



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