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Unsolved murders in Colorado: Read ten more personal stories of victims

Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons is an organization devoted to making sure no case or loved one is forgotten -- and its website features many personal stories of victims whose killers have not yet been brought to justice. We've featured two previous posts based on the site (one in May, the sequel in September), and sad to say, there are many more slayings that deserve attention.

Read about ten more of them below, and click on the links for additional details, including law-enforcement contact info to use if you know something that can help solve these crimes.

1993: Tyrone Bennett

Tyrone Anthony Bennett, 22, graduated from George Washington High School where he was awarded the Presidential Scholarship. An "A" student, Tyrone was president of his class and lettered in football where he was the team captain. He attended Arizona State University for one year.

"He was a very giving person," said his parents, Diane & Freddie Williams of Denver. Tyrone liked cars and stereo systems. His parents still have the 1970 Chevy he had restored. It''s stereo won a couple of trophies.

His dream was to be a fireman. He scored very high on the Denver Fire Department Test that was given at the Convention Center.

Tyrone worked for one of the airlines at Stapleton, cleaning up airplanes. He lived in a Denver apartment. In his off hours he watched the child of a friend and former classmate while she worked. On July 11, 1993, tenants at an Aurora apartment complex near Colfax & Potomac called police when they noticed a 4-year-old child alone in a car. Tyrone''s body was found in the trunk. He had been beaten so badly he had to be identified by finger prints. The child was unharmed. No one has ever been arrested for this murder.

2003: Carolyn Jansen

Carolyn Jansen.
Carolyn Jansen.
Carolyn Colleen Jansen was born May 21st, 1958. She was an only child. Her parents divorced early in her life. She worked as a waitress and at many truck stops. She also sold Avon for years. She loved sandcastles, the color purple, the outdoors and and spending time with her children and grandchildren whom she loved very much. Carolyn Baker gave birth to four girls and two boys. An infant, David Yount, died soon after birth. Carolyn Baker's decomposed body was found in a Rubbemaid container in June, 2005, two years after she was last seen. The container had been left behind in an Aurora home by a man now serving time for theft and forgery. The Arapahoe county Coroner determined Carolyn Jansen was murdered.

Continue to read more personal stories of unsolved homicide victims.   2005: Ronnald James Jr.

Ronnald James Jr.
Ronnald James Jr.
Ronnald James, Jr., II was born and raised in Chicago where he finished his high school years at Sullivan House H.S. He moved to Aurora in 1998. A very generous person, Ron was always ready to help others, especially youth.

About 11:30 p.m. on March 15, 2005, Ronnald James Jr. II was nearing his apartment on S. Sable Blvd in Aurora, CO with a young woman friend. Two men wearing ski masks approached the couple. Ron told the woman to run while he fought off the attackers. He was shot. Taken to the hospital, Ron lived nearly four weeks in a coma. Surgeries were performed.

Ron died April 10, 2005 leaving his mother, three children, a sister and three brothers to mourn his unsolved murder.

If you have information about this crime, please call Detective Tom Sobieski at 303-739-6710.

2004: Oakey "Al" Kite Jr.

Oakey Albert "Al" Kite, Jr., 53, graduated from Weldon (NC) High School and Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, NC where he majored in Business Administration. He then began a 31 year career with Stone & Webster, an engineering firm. Al started as Time Keeper at the Surrey (NC) Nuclear Plant, then moved up to accountant and eventually Department Head. His work assignments included project accountant in Massachusetts, Texas, New York, Nevada, Wyoming and Tennessee. He worked as senior time keeper on a project in Algeria. Al was manager of accounting procedures at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, San Francisco International Airport and Bay Area Rapid Transit in California.

Along the way, Al was married in 1976 to Gail Kay, a high scool friend. He had a stepdaughter. The marriage ended in divorce in 1988. Al came to Aurora in 1998. He enjoyed Colorado. Al loved to play golf bike, hike and ski. But in 2002, the company where he had spent his entire career downsized Al. He then went to work for Carter & Burgess, a consulting firm in Denver.

Al"s sister, Barbara Hanna, describes him as "very compassionate, very trusting (which may have led to his death); he had a goodness about him."

Al rented out the basement apartment of his home at 2002 So. Helena St. in Aurora. In May, 2004 his tenant left so Al put an apartment-for-rent ad in the paper. A man answered the ad. A neighbor later described a man she had seen leave the premises on May 19.

On May 24, Al's employer called his sister in North Carolina to say Al had not come to work nor called in and they were worried. Barbara knew this was uncharacteristic of her brother and called Aurora Police.

When Aurora Police finally went to investigate they found Al dead in his home. The coroner said his death had occurred the previous Saturday, May 22, and resulted from wounds inflicted by a sharp instrument. Al's blue & gray GMC pickup was found parked several blocks from his home. His cell phone was recovered miles away. His credit cards had substantial charges made after he died.

Though police have a composite drawing made from witnesses descriptions, no arrest has been made in this case. If you have any information about the murder of Oakey Albert Kite, please call Detective Thomas Sobieski at 303-739-6710.

Continue to read more personal stories of unsolved homicide victims.   1991: David Jones

David Wayne Jones, 31, was born and raised in the Denver/Aurora area. He graduated from Aurora Central High School in 1977. David enjoyed working on cars and rebuilding engines with his friends and brother. David, who was separated from his wife pending a divorce, enjoyed having his Mom & Dad, sister and brothers, nephews and nieces to his home. He worked in commercial sanitation for Waste Management Inc with one of his brothers. David's other interests included an array of arcade games which he kept in the basement of his home, and making videos of the family with his video camera. "There are tons of family videos from that time," said David's son, Chris, who was six at the time of his father's murder. David Jones also had a daughter, Samantha, who was three. Aurora police reported that on February 22nd, 1991, David was attacked in front of his home at 1735 Cathay Ct. while getting in to his car at about 5 am. Jones ran to the 1700 block of Ceylon Street. He was stabbed and died. If you have information about this murder, please call Aurora Police Cmdr. John DaLuz, 303-739-6082.

2005: David Ray Williams

David Ray Williams.
David Ray Williams.
David Ray Williams graduated from East High School in Denver. He worked as a produce specialist checking inventory at various stores. David liked cars. He fixed up a Suburban so it would dance to music. David called it the "Rump Shaker." He entered it in lo rider competitions and won many trophies. David's mom, Anna Davis, says David was very kind natured and loving. He loved his daughter Ashley who was 15 when he died. David also gave lots of attention to his grandmother.

On May 4, 2005, Aurora police were investigating a shooting and found 35-year-old David Ray Williams lying on the pavement outside the complex in the 1900 block of Delmar Parkway. He had been shot in the upper torso.

If you have any information that might relate to this murder, please call Detective Hershell Stowell, 303-739-6079. Or, if you wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers, 720-913-7867. There is a reward for information that leads to an arrest and prosecution.

Continue to read more personal stories of unsolved homicide victims.   2003: Kimberly Leem

Kimberly Leem, 60, liked to cook. She enjoyed preparing traditional Korean food as well as American food. "She liked to feed people; she liked to make people happy," said her daughter, Helen. Born in Seoul, Korea, Kimberly had come to this country with her family in the late 70s. A member of the Church of Praise in Aurora, she went to church six days a week. On February 2, 2003, Kimberly had been witnessing with a friend who then dropped her off about 8:20 pm in front of her home in the 12400 block of East Kansas Drive in Aurora. It was a snowy night. Kimberly went to the trunk of her parked car as the friend drove away. About 8:40 pm, Kimberly's husband, Donald Leem, asked Helen if she knew where her mother was. Helen suggested her mom was probably still at church. Later, two ladies drove past the parked car and thought they saw something move on the ground. They stopped but were afraid to get out of their car. Another passerby noted the car's open trunk and the open garage door. She too saw something move. After consulting the first two ladies, the third woman went and discovered Kimberly who had been fatally injured. The passersby summoned emergency personnel who transported Kimberly Leem to the Medical center of Aurora South where she was pronounced dead. Aurora Police say the victim was struck by a large pickup or sport utility vehicle that was red in color. It ran into the rear of Leem's vehicle and left the scene. Besides her husband and daughter, Kimberly Leem leaves a son, Ted, who is a medical student at the University of Colorado. "She was very loving," said Helen. "She was the best mom." If you have information about this homicide, please call Detective Pat Hardin at 303-739-6282.

1990: Tonya Manuel

Tonya Manuel.
Tonya Manuel.
Tonya Renee Manuel (Candy) attended East High School. She was interested in poetry and fashion design. Her mother, Cynthia Irvin, says Tonya loved to knit and crochet and she liked cooking. "She was a quiet, unselfish person." But when she was 17, Tonya left for Fairbanks, Alaska where she had her first child, Shashada, with Robert Dukes. By the time she was 20, Tonya gave birth to two more children: Robert Dukes and Has-Han Manuel. Back in Colorado, Tonya spent time in a treatment program. Two weeks after leaving the program, on July 29, 1990, Tonya's body was found near 16th & Beeler in Aurora in back of some apartments. She had been stabbed. Her mother was notified the following Monday morning. If you have any information relating to this murder, please call Det. Steve Connor 303-739-6190.

Continue to read more personal stories of unsolved homicide victims.   1987: Karolyn Walker

Karolyn Walker, 18, was an outstanding athlete. She brought home gold and silver medals from the 1986 Colorado Gymnastics State Meet held at the University of Denver. A student at St. Marys Academy, Karolyn also won trophies in swimming and volleyball as well as coaching volleyball. One of six children raised by a divorced mother, Karolyn excelled at anything she tackled.

Karolyn was extremely popular with her peers and devoted to her family. "We did so much together," said her mother Claudine. "She was my right arm, like the sister I never had."

Karolyn was returning home from her night job at Domino's in a car borrowed from her boyfriend. It was just past 12:30 AM of July 3, 1987 when Claudine Walker awoke with a start. She would not understand the feeling of terror that gripped her until later.

The car Karolyn had been driving was found stalled and abandoned in Denver. Her body, beaten so badly it was unrecognizable, was found two days later near I-70 and Colfax. Karolyn is also survived by four brothers: Gary, Glenn, Victor & James; and one sister, Charmaine.

1996: Kimberly Greene-Medina

Kimberly Diane Greene-Medina, 19, was born July 30, 1977. She married young, loved her girls' Nekka, 3, and Marissa, 2 and worked hard as a dispatcher for Super Shuttle. But her husband, Mike Medina, was abusive. Kimberly asked for a divorce one week before she disappeared, October 29, 1996. Her husband indicated that Kimberly left on foot to go to a local convenience store located at Mississippi and Buckley Rd., and never returned. She was not reported missing until October 31.

Bloodhound Yogi and his handler, Detective Bill Oliver, traced Kimberly's scent from the couple's apartment at 1082 S. Yampa (near Buckley Field) to a Total Gas Station about a mile away and then to E. Colfax and I-225. Sgt Stephen Patrick of the Aurora Police Department was the first investigator assigned to the case. "Kimmy should not be a missing person; there has been nothing but inconsistencies to Mike's stories since her disappearance." says John Greene, Kimberly's father. "She has so many people out there who love her. She was so dear to me." says Kimmy's Aunt, Stephanie O'Bryan. Her sisters, Kindra and Stephanie, and brothers, Joseph, Kevin and Brendan, miss her dearly.

A psychic gave John Greene clues that led to discovery of personal effects that may have been Kimmy's at a farm field 20 miles east of Aurora near the Deer Creek exit off Interstate 70. A farmer there, named Mark Birchfield, recalled seeing a vehicle leaving the field that fit the description of Mike Medina's vehicle.

In the October 28, 1998 edition of the Aurora Sun, officials are quoted as saying "they might have discovered traces of her remains recently in a gully in rural Elbert County, along with evidence her body was buried there the night she disappeared."

The grieving father also says he does not know where Mike Medina has taken Kimberly's daughters. John Greene, who lives in Nampa, Idaho, has not seen or heard from his two granddaughters since before their mother's disappearance.

At the time of her disappearance, Kimberly was 5'5" with light brown shoulder-length hair, the most beautiful big blue eyes and long dark eyelashes, and weighed approximately 130 lbs. Her last paycheck remains unclaimed at Super Shuttle.

In a 2005 development in this case, Michael Medina was arrested in Rio Grande County, Colorado and charged with murdering his 16-month-old son, Degan. The following is excerpted from a story that appeared in Alamosa's Online Valley Courier following Medina's incarceration in Alamosa:

Medina confesses to first wife's murder

Witnesses on Thursday described events leading up to Degan's death.

Alamosa Police Sergeant Richard Needham testified Medina told Degan's mother, Becky Garel, the day before Degan's death that he had previously killed his first wife, Kimberly Greene Medina, 19, and threatened to harm Degan if Garel told anyone.

Kimberly Medina's father was in the courtroom on Thursday and began sobbing when Needham described the alleged October 1996, beating death of his daughter. After allegedly confessing to Kimberly Medina's murder on May 20, Medina then did not let Garel out of his sight until the following day, May 21, when Garel had scheduled a time to wash her car at the home of relatives Ron and Linda Howard. Because she told Medina the Howards would suspect something was wrong if she did not show up, he let her go but did not let her take their son with her. Needham testified Garel told the Howards what Medina had told her, and Garel and the Howards then notified law enforcement authorities. Medina was living in Alamosa at the time. While Alamosa city and sheriff authorities mobilized to deal with what they believed was a possible hostage situation, Needham testified Medina got a ride from his brother Eric and took his son and two daughters from his first marriage to Monte Vista where they ate at Pizza Hut.

Throughout the afternoon of Saturday, May 21, Medina and Garel talked on cell phones, and Medina and his children remained in the Monte Vista area. Needham testified Michael Medina's daughters said at some point in the afternoon their father told them to return to Pizza Hut and gave them a list of phone numbers to call. He also allegedly told them to love and kiss their little brother because he and Degan were going to go away for awhile.

The girls returned to Monte Vista, and Medina and his son walked into a field near the Monte Vista sewage lagoons on Henderson Avenue.

If you have information relating to the disappearance and suspected murder of Kimberly Greene-Medina, please call Detective Mehl at 303-739-6127.

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Ten unsolved Denver murders: Read personal stories of the victims."


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