AURORA – Colorado police have named a suspect in the stabbing death of a woman 23 years ago, although the man identified by detectives has been dead for 12 years.
Police investigators named Wesley Backman as the probable killer of 25-year-old Tangie Sims in October 1996, The Aurora Sentinel reports.
The truck driver was 41 when they believe he killed Sims in Aurora. Backman died in 2008, police said.
Sims was last seen near an intersection walking toward a freight truck with a sleeper cab and was later found dead, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said.
Aurora homicide detectives Steve Conner and Michael Prince named Backman as the primary suspect after DNA testing of blood found at the crime scene.
Investigators came to believe Backman cut himself during the stabbing after they traced the blood to a relative of Backman with the help of a genealogist and United Data Connect, a Denver-based DNA research firm.
Conner and Prince later obtained blood from an immediate family member of Backman for comparison, which confirmed the trucker as the most likely suspect.
Prince and Conner are continuing to investigate whether Backman killed others before his death, police said.