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Arrest made in Weld County's second-oldest cold case

Posted at 1:17 PM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 15:17:43-04

GREELEY, Colo. — A 64-year-old man has been arrested in a Weld County woman’s murder from 1979.

Evelyn Kay Day's death was the second-oldest cold case in the county.

James Herman Dye, 64, of Wichita, Kan., faces a charge of first-degree murder in the case, officials said in a news release. He was arrested this week after authorities said they learned his DNA was connected to the case.

The 29-year-old Day, an Evans resident, went missing in November 1979 after working a night shift at Aims Community College in Greeley. Her coworkers found her dead in her car the next day. She was sexually assaulted and strangled.

The case went cold but was reopened in May 2020. DNA evidence led investigators to Dye, who was a student at Aims when Day worked there.

The Weld County Sheriff's Office cold case detective, Byron Kastilahn, had contacted the Colorado Bureau of Investigation last year to run DNA from the crime scene against the FBI's Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, which holds millions of felons' DNA from over the last 30 years.

In August, Kastilahn learned there was a match for the DNA in Dye, who had been a convicted felon from other incidents.

Kastilahn then learned that Dye was a student at Aims in the fall of 1979, when Day died, authorities said.

Dye had been previously arrested on a charge of second-degree sexual assault in October 1977. Authorities said the "modus operandi" for the 1977 case was similar to the Day case, though it was unclear if Dye was convicted or sentenced to jail time.

Dye was later arrested on charges of sexual assault on a child in 1981 and 1987, attempted sexual assault in 1981 and third-degree assault in 1982.

Dye on Friday was being held at the Sedgwick County Jail in Kansas, awaiting extradition.

Anyone with more information about the case is asked to contact Kastilahn at 970-400-2827.