1963 Colorado Cold Case Solved with DNA Testing
For almost 57 years, law enforcement was at a loss as to who murdered and sexually assaulted 16-year-old Colorado Girl Scout Margaret "Peggy" Beck in 1963.
According to The Denver Post, the case began that summer when Beck was serving as a counselor at the Flying G Ranch Girl Scouts Camp outside of Deckers.
She was sleeping alone in her tent one night because her tentmate was in the infirmary. The tentmate found Beck's body in the tent the next morning.
No one had seen or heard anything the night of the incident, and an extensive investigation lead to no suspects. The case went cold.
But now, thanks to advancements in DNA testing, Jefferson County investigators have identified Beck's killer: James Raymond Taylor.
Authorities entered a DNA profile, created using scrapings from under Beck's fingernails, into a national database in 2007.
After years of waiting, and help from United Data Collect, a Denver-based genealogical research company, the database was able to successfully find a DNA match in Taylor.
Taylor worked as a television repairman in Edgewater, the same town that Beck lived in, during the early 1960s. He was known to test homemade HAM radios in the area near the Girl Scouts' camp.
However, the whereabouts of Taylor, who would be around 80 years old now, are still unknown. He was last seen in Las Vegas in 1976.
"Nothing would give us greater pleasure than to actually put handcuffs on James Taylor," said Beck's three sisters in a statement read by Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader on Thursday (April 23).
If you have any information about Taylor, call the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office at (303)-271-5612 and reference case 63-10335.