LITTLETON, Colo. — Using new technology, investigators from the Littleton Police Department (LPD) said Wednesday they're going over every piece of evidence from a triple murder from 2002 hoping to bring the killer or killers to justice.
"It is not too late to come forward," said LPD Chief Doug Stephens during a briefing where an increased reward of up to $30,000 was also announced. "This community, especially the families of James, Erin, and Robert deserves answers."
Bobby Zajac, 23, Erin Golla, 26, and 29-year-old James Springer were shot to death inside the AMF Broadway Bowling Alley located at 5485 S. Broadway in Littleton shortly before midnight on Jan. 27, 2002.
> Listen to 9NEWS Producer Janet Oravetz talk about the case in the The Daily Crime, a TEGNA podcast.
Golla and Springer were the last two closing employees and Zajac had been bowling and was going to get a ride home from Springer, LPD said.
After closing the alley, Golla called her a friend at 11:40 p.m. to come pick her up. Sometime after she made that call, the three victims came into contact with an unknown person or people and were shot to death during an apparent robbery.
Investigators said Wednesday around 11:50 p.m. that night, a middle-aged white man with a bald head was seen exiting the bowling alley wearing a knee-length trench coat. He got into a dark-colored, newer model pickup truck and left the area heading south.
Five minutes later at 11:55 p.m. the friend who had come to pick up Golla discovered their bodies inside.
"We know there is likely information that has not been shared," said Stephens, who noted they're also conducting new interviews. "We believe people with information surrounding this case remain in our community."
Stephens also said Wednesday that investigators determined the killings may be related to an attempted burglary at the same business one week earlier on Jan. 20, 2002.
"Investigators are retesting and reviewing evidence including items from the trash can in the men's room as well as other items on the property," Stephens said. "Technology not available to us at the time of the crime has allowed us to develop new investigative leads."
Police used a briefing Wednesday to promote public awareness about the case. Other speakers included:
- Michael Schneider, FBI Special Agent in Charge
- John Kellner, DA for the 18th Judicial District
- Mike Mills, Board President Metro Denver Crime Stoppers
- Mitch Morrissey, Founder United Data Connect
Part of United Data Connect's work includes genetic genealogy which has been used in recent years to help solve cold cases by checking DNA found at crimes scene against samples in public databases. It has helped solved other decades-old killing including the murder of KHOW radio intern Helene Pruzynski.
"This is a horrendous case that has gone unsolved too long," said Morrissey.
The FBI is already following up some new leads that were gathered using genetic genealogy, according to Morrissey.
"We're going to continue this work until we find the individual or individuals responsible for these murders," he said.
A reward of up to $30,000 is available for information through Metro Denver Crime Stoppers.
"This is a crime that will be solved," said Mills. "Can you help? Will you help? Are you willing to break your silence and remain anonymous to help us solve this case?"
Metro Denver Crime Stoppers
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.
Metro Denver Crime Stoppers works by assigning a code to people who anonymously submit a tip. Information is shared with law enforcement, and Crime Stoppers are notified at the conclusion of the investigation.
From there, an awards committee reviews the information provided and, if the information leads to an arrest, the tipster will be notified. Rewards can be collected using the code numbers received when the tip was originally submitted.
> More information about Metro Denver Crime Stoppers can be found here.
> Additional Crime Stoppers bulletins can be found here.
Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers
Anyone with information is asked to contact Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-222-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.
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