GJ police hope for extended cold-case grant

The future of a renewed focus on cold-case homicides at the Grand Junction Police Department may hinge on the extension of a federal grant.

Grand Junction Police Sgt. William Baker said the Colorado Bureau of Investigation has requested an extension of a grant, administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, which pays costs associated with cold-case homicide investigations. Grand Junction received funding in January that expired July 1.

“The extension has been requested,” Baker said. “We have not heard if that will happen.”

Police in January reopened five cold-case homicides in Grand Junction, spanning 23 years and including the unsolved 1964 murder of Patty Haywood, in hopes that advancements in DNA testing will bring justice.

Aside from Haywood’s murder, the department reopened the 1975 murder of Deborah Tomlinson, the 1979 murder of Clyde Peterman and the killings of Gerald Burns and David Lavender in 1986 and 1987, respectively.

The grant pays up to 30 hours of overtime per case for detectives and up to $3,000 for travel-related expenses for collection of DNA from possible suspects or victims’ families.

Eight detectives were assigned to the effort.

Baker has said they’ve identified evidence in two cases, Peterman’s and Lavender’s, that will be sent to CBI’s Grand Junction laboratory for DNA testing.

“We’re not certain if or when DNA will be sent up on the other cases at this time,” he said.


COMMENTS

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Great, maybe they can also re-open the case of Abby Blagg and bring a new trial against her dad, Michael Blagg.

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