GJPD detectives make arrest relating to 2018 missing persons case

GJPD detectives make arrest in 2018 missing persons case.
GJPD detectives make arrest in 2018 missing persons case.(Grand Junction Police Department)
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 2:11 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Grand Junction Police Department arrested and charged Richard Vandervelde, 54, with the murder of his mother, Sylvia Frens, relating to a 2018 missing persons case.

According to GJPD, Frens was reported missing to the police department on May 29, 2018, by family members.

Investigators found that Vandervelde used Frens debit cards and took over $10,000 of cash from her bank accounts between February and June 2018.

On June 5, 2018, after Vandervelde was taken into custody in Colombia, Missouri, for falsifying his identity, detectives from GJPD were contacted and traveled to Missouri to speak to him about his mother’s disappearance.

GJPD states during the interview that Vandervelde said Frens left with a friend for California in April 2018. That was all the information he disclosed.

The police department concluded Frens was deceased after finding no establishment of residency or legal identification in any other states and social media posts.

Finally, in March of 2022, detectives searched her property once again and found human remains. An autopsy concluded Frens experienced blunt force trauma to the head. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

On May 19, Vandervelde was located in Pinellas County, Florida, extradited to Mesa County, and charged with murder in the first degree, tampering with a deceased human body, crimes against at risk adult, theft, mother vehicle theft, and abuse of a corpse.

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