Three decade old cold case solved with DNA testing

A three decade old cold case was solved using DNA sequencing.
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 4:44 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - A cold case over 30 years old was solved with the help of advanced forensic DNA testing company Othram in Texas.

The victim’s name was Etus Thomas “ET” Romero.

In 2022, the Mesa County Sheriff’s office sent Romero’s DNA to Othram’s lab to create a DNA profile.

“Whenever a case has DNA evidence there, that is not leading to a hit with CODIS and is intractable the other methods, we’re able to come in, and build one of these profiles that has hundreds and hundreds of thousands of markers in it uploaded to a genealogical database consented for law enforcement use,” says Kristen Mittelman, chief business development officer at Othram Inc. “Then we’re able to figure out where the person belongs in a family tree.”

The profile was used by the sheriff’s office to then match the DNA with a surviving family member.

It confirmed a sibling relationship.

Romero was a veteran, just 26 when he was stabbed to death.

He reportedly moved to Grand Junction with two others from Louisianna.

He worked as a dishwasher and lived in a house on 4th Street that no longer stands.

Law enforcement encourages anyone with tips about the case to reach out to investigators Pete Burg (970-244-3263) and Anthony West (970-244-3270).