Body Found In Colorado 24 Years Ago Identified As Rock Springs Man

After 24 years and multiple DNA tests, Colorado authorities have identified a man found dead near Greeley on Valentine’s Day 2000 as Rock Springs resident Christopher Scott Case.

Clair McFarland

June 05, 20243 min read

Welcome to Greeley Colorado
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A man walking his dog in a field near Greeley, Colorado, on Valentine’s Day 24 years ago stumbled upon a dead body.

For nearly two-and-a-half decades, about all that was known about the body was that it was a deceased was a male in an advanced state of decomposition, according to an announcement the Weld County Sheriff’s Office released Wednesday.

Now through DNA testing, the body has been identified as Christopher Scott Case of Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Weld County Sheriff’s deputies and investigators responded to the scene when it was reported in 2000, investigated and found no evidence of foul play. But authorities couldn’t tell how the man died because of the decomposed state of his body, the statement says.

He was between the ages of 35 and 50, stood 5-foot-4, and may have had a tattoo in the center of his back. Authorities found no signs of trauma.

They called the Valentine’s Day find a John Doe.


Then DNA Comes Along

In 2022, investigators analyzed the man’s DNA, which led them to possible relatives in Nevada who willingly submitted their DNA, the statement says.

Weld County cold case Detective Byron Kastilahn “got the break he had been waiting for” in December when the genetic test results returned, identifying John Doe as Case.

Later test results confirmed this as well, the department’s statement says.


‘As Cold As They Get’

The statement says that prior to his death, Case was living in Rock Springs, Wyoming. He was last seen by his half brother in 1998 in Nevada.

While his home was listed as Rock Springs and he had been missing for 24 years, Case does not show up on the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation missing person list, which as of Wednesday morning has 94 people on it.

“This case was as cold as they get. There was no evidence other than the human remains. If not for forensic genetic genealogy, Christopher Case would not have ever been identified,” said Kastilahn in the statement. “After learning about forensic genetic genealogy in 2020, I wanted to try to get all our unidentified human remains (UHR) cases into that process. So far, we have identified three UHR cases and I hope they can all be identified eventually.”

The statement says the Weld County Sheriff’s Office harbors an “unwavering” dedication to resolving all cold cases.

“In cold cases such as Christopher's, we relentlessly pursue investigative leads, employ forensic tools and hope that he will be identified so his story will be told and his loved ones will find peace in getting the answers they deserve,” Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams added.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter