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DNA evidence leads to arrest in 1985 slaying near Denver

April 9, 2021 GMT

DENVER (AP) — DNA evidence has led to the arrest of a 64-year-old man suspected in a 1985 slaying south of Denver, authorities announced Friday.

Michael Jefferson was arrested in Los Angeles and extradited to Colorado earlier this month to face kidnapping and first-degree murder charges in the Nov. 21, 1985, death of 51-year-old Roger Dean in Lone Tree, KUSA-TV reported.

Investigators say an intruder entered Dean’s home and shot him five times when he tried to run from the house. In 1990, Dean’s widow said she received a threatening letter from someone claiming to be the killer. The writer demanded $100,000 from her and threatened to kill her daughter if she didn’t hand over the money, KCNC-TV reported.

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It’s unclear if Jefferson has an attorney who can speak on his behalf. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock, who was at the scene after the slaying and was the lead detective on the extortion case, said Friday it’s “very satisfying” to know DNA evidence collected early in the investigation and preserved for three decades was used to identify the suspect.

Jefferson lived in Colorado in 1985, and while he most recently lived in Louisiana, he was with family in Los Angeles when he was arrested.

Dean, who Spurlock described as a “prospering businessman,” had a wife and children.