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Man charged with murder in 1998 disappearance of Denver woman

The DA said 57-year-old Crespin Nene-Perez has been charged with the murder and kidnapping of his then-girlfriend.
Credit: Crespin Nene-Perez mug

DENVER — A man has been arrested in relation to the death of a woman who disappeared from her Denver home in 1998.  

The Denver District Attorney's (DA) Office on Wednesday said it has charged Crespin Nene-Perez with the murder of his then-girlfriend Bonny Baker.  

Baker disappeared on June 30, 1998, according to the DA. 

The arrest affidavit in the case says that Perez was Baker's live-in boyfriend at the time she disappeared. 

On the night she disappeared, the affidavit says Baker was drinking to celebrate after getting a promotion at Fort Restaurant where she and Perez worked. After a few hours, Baker called Perez and he showed up "acting weird and his eyes were glazed like he was on something like cocaine," the affidavit says.

"The dancing was happening in the living room ... Crespin face began to look very mean and was soon mean mugging everyone," the affidavit continues.  

The affidavit says that Baker's last words to someone at the celebration were, "It would be better if I just go now or it would be worse."  

The arrest affidavit describes that a witness had called 911 on the night of June 30 and said Baker was killed "after a fight with her boyfriend at approximately 8 p.m." The affidavit says that the caller also said that, "the Hispanic male driver was heading to Mexico... with the body of his girlfriend in the trunk... and would dump the body along the way".

In July 1999, Baker's remains were found by two boys on horseback in a remote area of Navajo tribal grounds, the DA said. At the time, the New Mexico Office of Medical Investigators listed the manner of death as undetermined, according to the arrest affidavit. 

DPD's crime lab in 2012 confirmed that the remains found in New Mexico belonged to Baker. DPD then completed forensic testing and a further round of witness interviews in 2013 that included sufficient evidence to arrest Perez, according to the DA. 

Perez lived in Mexico at the time the arrest warrant was issued. He was extradited in 2020 to face murder and kidnapping charges in Denver.

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