GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4) – One veteran detective has made it his mission to bring justice to the family of a western Colorado woman murdered decades ago. Her killer has never been caught.

Deborah Tomlinson, 19, was found dead inside her apartment on Belford Avenue on Dec. 27, 1975.

Deborah Tomlinson (credit: Grand Junction Police)

Police say she had been bound, sexually assaulted and strangled. But, they believe she fought back hard.

The cold case is gaining new attention thanks to a Grand Junction police officer who picked up the case and is working on it during his days off. His commitment to the family and a gut feeling someone out there has information that could help them solve this once and for all is what is driving Cpl. Brandon Ludwig to work the case again… even after years in the cold case file.

“Her family deserves justice, and I am eager to do whatever we can now using new technology to find who is responsible for this,” Ludwig told CBS4.

Deborah Tomlinson (credit: Grand Junction Police)

New DNA evidence techniques may help detectives to uncover the truth behind what happened.

“Investigators back in 1975 did a really great job preserving evidence in this case. Even though DNA testing wasn’t even an option for them back then, we have lots to test now,” he added.

(credit: Facebook)

The case was reopened in the early 2000s but no arrests were ever made.  According to police records, an apartment complex manager found the victim after entering her apartment to check her welfare.

There was no evidence of weapons used, but a gash on victim’s forehead indicates a possible struggle with attacker.

Those with more information are asked to call the Grand Junction Police Department at 970-683-3404.

Matt Kroschel

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