Updated Feb. 29, 2019, following new information from Crime Stoppers
LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Authorities are still investigating the death of a 22-year-old woman who was found strangled to death in a Lakewood motel room in 2018.
A man Olivia Margaret Hector had dated was initially arrested in the case, but Denver Metro Crime Stoppers and Lakewood police on Friday released a new release asking for any information in the case.
Detectives "believe there may be individuals out in the public who have information on Miss Hector's death," the news release said.
On Nov. 8, around 12:45 p.m., officers with the Lakewood Police Department responded to a death investigation call from the hotel manager of the Motel 6 on Wadsworth Boulevard. The manager said the cleaning staff had found a deceased woman in the bathroom of one of the rooms, according to an affidavit.
When officers arrived, they found a woman naked in the bathroom. Officers did not see any obvious signs of injury, but noticed what appeared to be a blemish mark on the right side of her neck.
The hotel was registered to Hector, who was later identified as the deceased woman.
The hotel manager said she had checked Hector into the motel the prior evening at 6:58 p.m.
Authorities found that she had been a victim of domestic violence and strangulation in August 2018, according to the affidavit. The offender in that case had been arrested.
Because Hector had a history of being a victim of domestic violence, authorities requested assistance from the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office. A coroner investigator arrived at the scene and found that one of her eyes had petechial hemorrhaging, an injury consistent with strangulation. He did not find any other injuries, according to the affidavit.
Police determined her death was suspicious, though there was no obvious evidence at the scene to help investigators learn how she died.
On Nov. 10, Lakewood police talked with Matthew Williams, a potential suspect, at his home in Mountain View. He asked police if Hector was OK and said, “If it involves Olivia, there is drama involved because she has a lot of demons,” according to the affidavit. He said the number of cops at his front door “freaked” him out and agreed to talk to Lakewood police at the station.
He told authorities he had met Hector in 2015 after graduating from college. They dated and still had a sexual relationship afterward, he said. He had been in the hotel room with her earlier in the day when she was found dead, according to the affidavit. Hector told him she wanted to be alone, so he left and hadn’t heard from her since, he told police, according to the affidavit. They were not intimate during this time, he said, and when he left, she was still clothed and alive.
At a second interview at the police station, Williams said Hector had threatened and attempted suicide in front of him before. He said she talked about killing herself that day, but he felt she was saying that for attention, according to the affidavit. He claimed he tried calling her the next day, but she didn’t answer — something he wasn’t concerned about. Williams told police that she must have killed herself by hanging.
A crime lab later found Williams’s DNA on Hector’s leg. But after an autopsy on Jan. 30, 2019, authorities learned that her death could not definitively be ruled a homicide.
A detective with the Lakewood Police Department decided to get a second opinion from strangulation expert Dr. William Smock.
Smock said, within a reasonable degree of medical and scientific certainty, that Hector died from asphyxia secondary to strangulation and the manner of her death is homicide. Blood flow to her brain was blocked due to external pressure on her neck, he said, so she lost consciousness before dying. The skin on her neck displayed areas of blunt force trauma consistent with strangulation, he said.
The doctor also found that she had ethanol and THC in her system when she died.
In the April 22 affidavit, the Lakewood detective said this evidence proves probable cause to arrest and charge Williams with first-degree murder. He has one charge of second-degree assault from 2016.
In April, officers arrested Williams on suspicion of first-degree murder. But police this month said they were still searching for a suspect in the case. It was unclear whether Williams still faced charges in the case.
Denver7 previously reported that a Denver police officer previously looked up the Hector’s criminal history when he was not doing any type of formal criminal investigation. The officer, Shederick Dobbin, was suspended after he was caught at a strip club — where Hector worked — when he was supposed to be on duty. Lakewood police said they do not believe Dobbin is connected to Hector’s death in any way.