Colorado - He is currently being held in the 1997 rape and murder of Susannah Chase. Once again, DNA was instrumental in capturing the person, who was not even on the suspect list, responsible for an unsolved cold case. Susannah Case, a University of Colorado student, was walking home alone on Dec. 21, 1997 after an argument with her boyfriend. She was later found in an alley, bleeding from the head. She had been raped and beaten with a baseball bat. She died on Dec 22.
“As you might imagine our emotions have run the gamut since we first heard of the DNA match with Susannah’s case,” parents Hal and Julie Chase said in a written statement. “We are delighted that a suspect has been identified and apprehended.”
The suspect, Diego Olmos-Alcalde, 38, was being held on $5 million bail on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and first-degree sex assault.
- Dec. 21, 1997: Susannah Chase, 23, is found beaten in an alley near her home at 18th and Spruce streets in Boulder at about 3:40 a.m.
- Dec. 22, 1997: Chase dies
- Jan. 1998: Boulder police bring in an FBI psychological profiler to help find the killer.
- Jan. 1998: DNA from semen is found on Chase’s clothing.
- Aug. 2000: In Laramie County, Wyo., Diego Olmos Alcalde attacks a young woman outside her apartment. He chokes her to keep her from screaming, but she manages to honk her horn and alert her family. Police catch up to him a short time later. The victim and her family identify him as the attacker. He is charged with kidnapping and later convicted.
- Jan. 2001: Boulder police announce that famed criminologist and forensics expert Henry Lee will consult with them about the Chase case.
- Aug. 2003: The Wyoming Supreme Court reverses Alcalde’s conviction because during jury deliberations a juror had to take leave because of a medical condition, and the trial judge erred by allowing an alternate juror to enter into the jury’s deliberations after they had already started.
- Jan. 2004: Police release a DNA test used to create a racial profile of Chase’s killer.
- Sept. 2004: Alcalde is sentenced to seven to 10 years in prison after being retried and convicted.
- July 2007: Alcalde is paroled and later allowed to move to Colorado.
- Jan. 2007: Alcalde arrested in death of Chase.