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Authorities identify victim in 1988 Sheridan cold case using genetic genealogy

Investigators ask for tips from anyone with information on man
Posted at 1:53 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 16:00:08-04

DENVER – Authorities announced Wednesday they had identified a victim in a 1988 murder cold case in Sheridan using genetic genealogy.

Sheridan Police Department Det. Bryan Penry identified the man as Akram Bada’an, 36.

His body was found on Aug. 27, 1988, in the 2800 block of West Oxford Avenue, but he did not have any identification on him at the time and could not be subsequently identified, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Authorities identify victim in 1988 Sheridan cold case

He was listed as a John Doe in cold case records in the 33 years since. But last year, investigators took another look at the case and found there was enough DNA to submit for genetic genealogy testing to try to identify the man, CBI analyst Audrey Simkins said during a Wednesday news conference.

MORE: Cold No More: How genetic genealogy is helping solve Colorado’s cold cases

The genetic profile showed the DNA was of Middle Eastern descent, which Simkins said was a break in the case, as investigators had longed believed the man was of Mexican descent.

The profile led detectives and investigators to Israel, where they were able to locate family members and positively identify Bada’an as the victim of the homicide by also using government records, Penry said.

“The most important thing in this case aside from giving the victim justice, is giving Akram Bada’an his name back,” Det. Penry said during the news conference. “I would like to extend my gratitude to the agencies that helped to assist in identifying Bada’an, and for the extraordinary dedication from the Sheridan Police Department over the last 33 years.”

Simkins said there is still much work to be done to understand who Bada’an was and why he was killed. CBI records show he was just over 5-foot-7 and weighed about 190 pounds.

The investigators and 18th Judicial District Senior Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris Wilcox asked anyone with information about Bada’an to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 with an information they might have on him, his life, or his death.

“Report what you know, share the information that you have because there is no way to know how small of a tip you might have might direct the course of the investigation in the coming weeks and months as we continue to seek justice,” Wilcox said.

Cold No More: How genetic genealogy is solving Colorado's cold cases