DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — A body found in the forest nearly 30 years ago has finally been identified as Rebecca “Becky” Redeker, a 20-year-old woman who spent most of her life in Colorado Springs. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating her death and wants to speak to anyone who knew her.
On June 15, 1993, deputies were called to an area between Woodland Park and Deckers in the Pike San Isabel National Forest on a report of a body at a makeshift campsite.
Unable to identify the remains, she was buried as Jane Doe at a cemetery in Castle Rock.
“Over the years the case had been looked at several times to see if any new investigative tools may assist in identifying the remains,” the sheriff’s office stated.
Back in 2012, investigators unearthed her grave and exhumed her remains to extract DNA. It was entered into a national database, but there were no matches at the time.
In 2013, a Miami-based forensic artist produced a composite drawing of what they believed “Jane Doe” may have looked like.
In January, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office retained United Data Connect to sequence the DNA sample from Jane Doe and conduct investigative genetic genealogy analysis. Results from the DNA sequencing were received in March 2020. Over 61 family trees of DNA matches from GEDmatch were built before her birth father was identified on May 14.
Undersheriff Holly Nichols was originally assigned to the case in 1993.
“As a new detective in 1993 I had no idea that this case would haunt me for 27 years,” Nichols said during a news conference Thursday. “I’m just so thankful that this part has been solved, that over all of this time there’s now a family that we know this girl belong to, and she is someone she’s no longer are Jane Doe. So thank God for that.”
Becky’s family now knows where their daughter and sister is, but investigators are determined to learn who killed her.
“I don’t know if I would call it relief, I would call it a reigniting of sadness,” said Sheriff Tony Spurlock. They are still actively working a death investigation case and attempting to gather information from anyone who may have known her.
Becky went to high school in Manitou Springs from 1985 to 1988 and attended Coronado High School in Colorado Springs in 1989. Detectives want to talk to anyone who knew her and who she may have been spending time with in the summer of 1993.
“I cannot stress enough that if you knew anyone, or you knew Becky, or you had anything connected in Becky’s life, please call our office, and help us identify the suspect, or suspects that were responsible for her death, and leaving her body, in the National Forest, without a name for all these years,” Sheriff Spurlock said Thursday.
The cause of death remains undetermined.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of her killer.