In 1998, the nude body of Sabrina Stevens, nineteen, was found dumped along a west-side highway.
Immediately thereafter, suspicion began to focus on Adam Dixon, who'd been engaged to Stevens just a couple of months earlier. But it took more than thirteen years for him to confess to ending her life.
Last year, the Denver Post portrayed Stevens as having undergone a personality shift -- a sweet, bubbly person who loved poetry and Wynonna Judd's music but subsequently dropped out of high school, got into a fight the Christmas before she died. She apparently worked at both a daycare center and a strip club.
Cut to June 8, 1998, when a man with car trouble pulled over on C-470 near Alameda. As he waited for a tow truck, he made a grisly discovery.
By that point, Stevens had been missing for four days -- and according to the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office, evidence suggested that Dixon was the last person to have seen her alive. Moreover, he's said to have phoned the Jeffco coroner's office on the 8th to ask if the remains of an unidentified female had been located.
Turns out the answer was yes. The coroner later determined the cause of death to have been manual strangulation.
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Nonetheless, authorities felt that they didn't have enough evidence to arrest Dixon, or anyone else, for the crime. But while the incident eventually went into the cold case file, it wasn't forgotten -- and last June, the DA's office filed an arrest warrant for Dixon, who was living in Concordia, Missouri at the time. Lakewood Police spokesman Steve Davis told the Post this development wasn't prompted by a bombshell piece of new evidence or anything of the sort. Rather, investigators simply interviewed original witnesses and pulled together the information previously collected in a way that gave prosecutors confidence they could win a conviction.
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They were right. In March, Dixon pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He's now been sentenced to fifteen years in prison and five years of probation. Here's a larger look at his mug shot.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Vincent Groves may have slain 24 women: Colorado's most prolific serial killer?"