21 Solved in ‘21 : Day 14 : Roger Dean
On November 21, 1985, 51-year-old Roger Dean was murdered in his Lone Tree, Colorado home. A masked assailant entered the home, forced Roger to tie up his wife D.J, then took Roger to another room where he demanded the money in their savings account. The intruder then headed towards the front of the house with Roger in tow, likely heading to the bank. A shot was fired, hitting the banister. Then, as Roger fled, he was shot five times in the back at point-blank range. He continued running, but collapsed in the driveway, where he died.
The killer left his ski mask behind, and was last seen running through the neighborhood before getting into a vehicle and speeding off. There were several strange circumstances surrounding this case. 1. Roger had twine embedded in only one of his wrists, leading investigators to believe he’d never been tied up. 2. At the time of his death, Roger was wearing contact lenses, but at the home, Roger’s glasses were found with duct tape attached, almost like he’d been blindfolded. But why would he be wearing both glasses and contacts? 3. In the year leading up to his death, without his wife’s knowledge, Roger had taken $30,000 from his business and deposited it into a private account. 4. Neighbors saw Roger in his garage that morning at 7am. This is unusual because Roger typically left home at around 6:15am on weekdays.
In 1990, 5 years after the murder of Roger Dean, DJ was contacted by someone claiming to be the killer, who demanded $100,000 or he would murder her daughter. A $100,000 drop-off was made, but no one ever collected the money, there was no further contact, and the threats were not carried out.
In 2003, the ski mask left behind by the killer was re-examined. A single hair was extracted and sent for DNA testing. In 2020, Genetic Genealogy was used to build a family profile, allowing authorities to narrow their suspect pool to 2 people. After it was determined that 1 of those 2 people lived in the area at the time, all attention was directed towards him. After the suspect boarded a plane, detectives followed him on. When the suspect drank some water and the bottle was disposed of, they intercepted it, and used the DNA left behind to confirm a DNA match. The alleged killer has been charged with murder and kidnapping.