48 years after 20-year-old Teree Becker’ death, Colorado police have solved her murder. Becker was last seen, according to the Westminster Police Department, on December 4, 1975, while traveling by hitchhike to see her lover who was being held at the Adams County Jail in Brighton, Colorado.
When a couple discovered her dead the following morning, it looked as though her clothes and other personal belongings had been thrown into a field. It was discovered by investigators that she had been raped and strangled.
According to the authorities, the cold case has been investigated several times over the years, most notably in 2003 when the Colorado Bureau of Investigation collected male DNA from a piece of evidence connected to the DNA Index System nationwide database, but no match was found.
The DNA profile created in 2003 and submitted to the same database by the Las Vegas Police Department matched in 2013. The creation of the Las Vegas profile came about as a result of investigating a cold case that involved a murdered and sexually assaulted woman in the city in 1991. The same individual was identified by the police as being engaged in both incidents. At the time, neither department had a suspect.
The Westminster Police Department stated in 2018 that the Colorado-created DNA profile was “determined to be a good candidate for genetic genealogy.” In genetic genealogy, potential relatives are identified by comparing DNA samples. It was utilized to direct law enforcement to Thomas Martin Elliott in this instance.
Although Elliott was already dead, the Las Vegas Metro Police Department received permission to dig up his remains in October in connection with the two killings. According to the police department, a detective from the Westminster Police Department was also present in Las Vegas to observe the exhumation. After his bones were gathered and examined, the Becker cold case was finally solved in December when it was determined that he matched the unidentified DNA profile.
According to the police, Elliott committed suicide in October 1991 and was buried in Nevada. Nine unsolved cold cases in Westminster, Colorado, are still under investigation, according to the police.