In the early morning hours of June 5, 1988, neighbors in one Colorado Springs town heard the sound of a woman screaming. These residents lived beside a busy bar district where patrons would pour out of the pubs intoxicated. Since late-night screams were a common occurrence, no one felt concerned enough to call the police.
Hours later, police officers found the body of Mary Lynn Vialpando. The 24-year-old wife and mother had been sexually assaulted, beaten, and stabbed to death. The killer fled, leaving her lifeless body in the alleyway.
Mary was described by her loved ones as beautiful, independent, and strong. Unfortunately, her case went cold.
According to The Gazette, Mary’s family had all but given up hope of finding her killer in the months leading up to the 30-year anniversary of her death. Mary’s daughter, Coral Vialpando, said that whatever hope they had left rested in DNA evidence taken from the killer’s semen, “and they were even skeptical about that, criticizing the reliability of composite sketches cobbled together from the DNA.”
Then, after 30 years, the cold case broke wide open. The police made an arrest.
Mary’s family was shocked to finally learn the killer’s identity. But they were even more stunned by how old he would have been at the time of Mary’s murder.
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