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Murder suspect arrested in 42-year-old Colo. cold case

The case is one of the oldest cold case murders in the county

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Photo/Tony Webster via WikiCommons

By Laura Studley
The Denver Post

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — Weld County has arrested a suspect believed to be responsible for one of the oldest cold case murders in the county.

Evelyn Kay Day, 29, left work at Aims Community College on Nov. 6, 1979, around 10 p.m. The next day, two coworkers found her body in her car.

Day had been beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled with a belt from her overcoat.

“For more than 41 years, Kay’s family and friends and the rest of Weld County community have been waiting for the killer to be brought to justice,” said Weld County Sheriff, Steve Reams. “I am pleased to announce we took a significant step in that direction earlier this week.”

James Herman Dye, 64, was arrested in Wichita, Kan., and is awaiting extradition to Colorado where he will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Robert Miller, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wrenn and Deputy District Attorney Tim McCormack.

District Attorney Michael J. Rourke said that his office filed two counts of murder in the first degree March 25. The counts are based on two “different theories of murder.”

“The first being that [Dye] committed this murder with the intent to cause [Day] death and after deliberation,” Rourke said.

The second is felony murder, meaning that while Dye committed a felony, sexual assault in this case, Day died in the course of it.

Cold case detective Byron Kastilahn said that they had reason to believe Dye was responsible for the murder not only because of DNA evidence, but because Dye and Day attended the same community college.

Kastilahn explained that if the detectives and lab technicians in 1979 didn’t preserve the DNA as well as they had, the case wouldn’t have been solved.

“They had the foresight to be thorough with the evidence, processing of the crime scene,” he said. “That was fortuitous for us.”

A court date has yet to be announced.

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