Metro Denver Crime Stoppers' Top 10 Unsolved Cases | Westword


Metro Denver Crime Stoppers' Top Ten Unsolved Cases

Metro Denver Crime Stoppers highlights more than two dozen cold cases on a web page devoted to gathering information on the crimes.
Kalani Hayter (left) and Emriel Krantz (right). Hayter's 2020 homicide was solved earlier this year, while Krantz's 2021 homicide remains unsolved.
Kalani Hayter (left) and Emriel Krantz (right). Hayter's 2020 homicide was solved earlier this year, while Krantz's 2021 homicide remains unsolved. Metro Denver Crime Stoppers
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There are more than 1,800 unsolved cold cases in Colorado.

Investigations into hundreds of homicides, assaults and other criminal acts have remained open for years — often decades — after the crimes were committed, with local law enforcement left without leads and victims' families without closure.

Metro Denver Crime Stoppers highlights dozens of these cold cases on a web page devoted to gathering new information on the crimes. The cases, which took place from 1981 to 2021, are almost entirely homicides.

Despite many of the victims’ families still fighting for answers to this day, most lack suspect information.

In the past year, only one of the web page’s featured cold cases was solved: the murder of Kalani Hayter.

On July 7, 2020, the twenty-year-old was found shot dead inside a stolen truck in Denver’s Sun Valley neighborhood. In May 2023 — nearly three years after her death — Jayque Owens pleaded guilty to killing Hayter and another victim, 21-year-old Yuan Yae Long, just two days earlier. Owens, who was sixteen at the time of the murders, was charged as an adult and sentenced to 58 years in prison.

But while Hayter’s case can finally rest, another has taken its place on the top unsolved-crimes list.

Emriel Krantz, age nineteen, was found dead on the side of Highway 72 in Gilpin County on June 18, 2021. Krantz’s remains were at the bottom of a steep hill and believed to have been there for about a week before being found.

Much of the investigation has been focused around Denver near 55th Avenue and Federal Boulevard, where Krantz — also known as “Little M” — spent a lot of time. Otherwise, little information is available.

Crime Stoppers is offering rewards ranging from $2,000 up to $30,000 for information leading to arrests or convictions in the cold cases. Tipsters can remain anonymous and still receive the cash reward; call 720-913-7867 (STOP) to submit a tip or to learn more.

"If you have any information or believe you may have witnessed something, please call," the group says.

Here are the rest of Metro Denver Crime Stoppers’ ten most recent unsolved cases, as reported by Michael Roberts in September 2022:
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(Clockwise from upper left) A sketch of a 2020 aggravated assault suspect; Alicia Marie Tverberg; Khobi Eiland; Kevin Garcia; Ijah Hamilton; and Deonta McDonald.
Aggravated assault to an at-risk adult (August 2020)
Around 8 p.m. on August 18, 2020, a man attacked an 87-year-old woman near North Uvalda Street and East Randolph Place in Denver. The victim survived, but she was beaten and suffered injuries characterized as serious. She described her attacker as a male in his twenties who may have been Hispanic, with a medium-to-heavy build. He was wearing a T-shirt and gray shorts at the time of the assault.

Alicia Marie Tverberg homicide (December 2019)
Alicia Marie Tverberg, 21, was found dead inside an apartment on the 8700 block of Galen Court in unincorporated Adams County on December 26, 2019. She had been shot to death. Adams County deputies arrested a man in January 2020 in connection with Tverberg's death, but the district attorney later dropped the murder charge. No suspect information has been made public since.

Khobi Eiland homicide (September 2018)
A resident of Denver's Park Hill neighborhood, eighteen-year-old Khobi Eiland was shot on East 29th Avenue between Forest and Glencoe streets at around 5 p.m. on September 7, 2018, and later pronounced deceased at the scene. Authorities have not shared any details about possible suspects.

Kevin Garcia homicide (March 2018)
Forty-year-old Kevin Garcia was shot and killed at around 8 p.m. on March 21, 2018, at 633 Lipan Street in Denver. No suspect information is available.

Ijah Hamilton homicide (November 2017)
Ijah Hamilton, seventeen, was in a vehicle with another male after 7:30 p.m. on November 16, 2017, when they came to a halt at a stop sign at the intersection of East Thrill Place and Forest Street in Denver. Seconds later, multiple suspects approached and opened fire. Hamilton died, and although the other passenger survived, Metro Denver Crime Stoppers lists no specifics about the shooters.

Deonta McDonald homicide (October 2016)
A shooting at around 1 a.m. on October 12, 2016, took the life of nineteen-year-old Deonta McDonald, who went by the nicknames "D" and "Slim." The location: the 1300 block of South Birch Street in Denver. Suspect information isn't included on the site.
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(From left): Scott Breitinger; Jevon Bailey and Dillon Leo Bueno.
Scott Breitinger homicide (April 2016)
At around 12:42 p.m. on April 3, 2016, Denver Police officers were dispatched to an alley corresponding to 3219 West Nevada Place after a report about gunfire. There they found Scott Breitinger, 49; he'd been shot multiple times while riding his motorcycle and didn't respond to medical treatment. The 911 callers were unable to provide descriptions of the shooter or shooters.

Jevon Bailey homicide (December 2015)
At 10:42 a.m. on December 22, 2015, Jevon Bailey, 23, was driving a blue Volkswagen Passat in the vicinity of East Iliff Avenue and South Warren Drive in Aurora when he encountered a Black male behind the wheel of a white sedan. After what investigators believe was a road-rage incident, Bailey was fatally shot in the head.

Dillon Leo Bueno homicide (October 2015)
Dillon Leo Bueno was 24 when he was shot and killed on Halloween night in 2015 outside his Commerce City residence on the 7300 block of Krameria Drive. Bueno's family said he was going to his car to get more candy for trick-or-treaters when a group of three men dressed in all black tried to mug him. Police haven't offered a suspect profile.
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