FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Fremont County prosecutors have charged a former detective with official misconduct and abuse of public records months after evidence, believed to be from the 2006 murder of 17-year-old Candace Hiltz, was found in his personal storage unit.
“Something has definitely has been covered up,” said Heather Hiltz, Candace’s sister-in-law. “Something bigger has happened than what we know.”
The locker was sold during an auction to Rick Ratzlaff in December of 2016.
“First, I didn’t think it was that big until I pulled out shell casings, a hatchet, and what really phased me was when I pulled out bloody clothes,” Ratzlaff told CBS4’s sister station, KKTV in Colorado Springs.
Ratzlaff and his wife recorded audio of their interaction with deputies when they discovered the evidence.
Lt. Robert Dodd with the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office was put on administrative leave in January. He retired last week.
“We just want to know why,” Hiltz said. “[We want to know] why he took it out of the sheriff’s department to a private storage locker. It just seems suspicious.”
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has taken over the case.
While the charges could get the family one-step closer to an answer, they fear the evidence may never hold up in court.
“It’s totally contaminated now, we may never find out who killed her,” Hiltz said.