Modern Technology Helped to a Solve Northern Colorado Cold Case
The development of new forms of technology has both drastically changed and improved the way humans work and live.
Innovative new technology and equipment have especially impacted law enforcement agencies in a positive way. For example, advanced techniques are now allowing departments around the country to take a deeper dive into investigations by using methods that were previously unavailable.
Recently, the use of advanced forensic techniques paired with modern technology allowed the Weld County Sheriff's Office to solve a cold case from 2018.
An investigation into the case first began on December 7, 2018, when WCSO deputies were dispatched to an unincorporated area in Weld County, just west of Fort Lupton. The call was in regards to human remains that had been discovered by a crew surveying the land.
When deputies arrived at the northern Colorado location, they were led to the remains and confirmed they were indeed those of a human. The discovery consisted of a skull, bones, some clothes, a backpack, and other miscellaneous items. It was believed that the remains had been there for a long period of time already.
The case was then turned over to WCSO Investigations to further identify who the remains belonged to. At this point during the investigation, the death of the unidentified person was not treated as a homicide.
On July 23, 2020 photos of the personal items that were found with the deceased individual were released to the public, along with an artistic reconstruction of his face. Investigators were hopeful that someone in the community might recognize the unknown male.
Eight months later, the sheriff's office submitted portions of the remains to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). After DNA was obtained from the samples, it was then sent to Parabon Nanolabs for forensic genetic genealogy.
On November 22, 2022, the Weld County Sheriff's Office received a report back from Parabon Nanolabs that led to a major update in the case. The DNA was revealed to possibly be from a man named Douglas Wayne Jackson, who had been listed as a missing person from Aurora.
With this new information, detectives contacted Mr. Jackson's sister and were able to compare her DNA with his. The results confirmed the deceased male to be Douglas Jackson.
Without advanced forensic techniques, this case likely would have continued to remain unsolved. Fortunately, detectives were able to bring closure to the family of Mr. Jackson and can hopefully continue to do so for other people out there who are in the same position.
Anyone with information regarding this or any other crime is asked to call the Weld County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 356-4015 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimeshurt.com.