Western Colorado Cold Case Victim From 1994 Positively Identified
The remains of a woman who disappeared 29 years ago in western Colorado have been positively thanks to new and advanced technology.
Windy Point Jan Doe Positively Identified
It was July 7, 1994, when the remains of Susan Hoppes were found by a hiker on the Uncompahgre Plateau in the area of Windy Point on the Divide Road in Montrose County. At the time, the identity of the deceased person could not be determined and has been referred to as Windy Point Jane ever since. On July 8, 1994, an investigation was launched to determine was had happened to Windy Point Jane Doe.
Remains Identified As Missing Washington State Woman
Montrose County Sheriff Gene Lillard released the news this week that Windy Point Jane has been positively identified as Susan Hoppes, a woman who was reported missing from Pierce County in Washington state on August 9, 1993.
Sheriff Lillard says it was in August of 2020 that Commander Ted Valerio had asked him to submit DNA samples to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for new and advanced technology in Forensic Genetic Genealogy, also known as Familial DNA analysis The cost to submit the DNA material was initially set at about $5,000, but that fee has since been waived. The green light was given for investigators to acquire DNA from the remains and enter the markers in hopes of getting a positive ID.
The Call Comes In
On April 19, 2022, Lillard says he received a call from Audrey Simkins from the CBI Analyst and Forensic Lab and Cold Case Division. She told Lillard the results came back with a positive ID of Windy Point Jane as, Susan Hoppes, the missing woman from Washington. Montrose County Coroner Dr. Thomas Canfield notified the Hoppes family about the identification.
Case Being Investigated As A Homicide
According to Lillard, the case is being investigated as a homicide and this week Commander Valerio headed to Washinton state to gather information on Susan Hoppes and to meet with detectives and private investigators.
It's taken 29 years and some new technology, but identification of the missing woman was finally made, and now investigators can move forward to try and determine exactly what happened to Susan Hoppes on the Uncompahgre Plateau back in 1993. There is still hope this mystery can be solved.