Alan Lee Phillips arrested after the 1982 death of Colorado hitchhikers Annette Schnee, Barbara Oberholtzer

After nearly four decades, a 70-year-old Colorado man has been arrested for the brutal murder of two women who were likely hitchhiking when they went missing.

Alan Lee Phillips has been arrested on several counts, including kidnapping and murder, for the 1982 deaths of Annette Schnee, 21, and Barbara “Bobbi Jo” Oberholtzer, 29, the Sheriff’s Department said on Wednesday. of Park County. Authorities say the women, who did not know each other, worked in Breckenridge, Colorado. They disappeared on January 6, 1982 after having hitchhiked.

Oberholtzer was found less than a day after her disappearance, but it took authorities six months to locate Schnee. An orange sock was found near the crime scenes of the two women, according to local media.

“You know, I thought there would be no fence,” Schnee’s mother Eileen Franklin said in Denver7 on Wednesday. “I thought I might have left before this case closed. So it’s really – I’m ready to go when it’s my turn now.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said their big in the case came after forensic genetic genealogy investigators were able to connect Phillips to the crime scenes. Phillips’ DNA sample was located in a genealogy database and investigators took him into custody during a traffic stop. He lived in Clear Creek County, working as a part-time mechanic.

“I can’t begin to understand the pain and suffering their families have faced for nearly four decades,” McGraw said. “Each year that has , they have remained vigilant in their unwavering commitment to seek justice for Bobbi Jo and Annette. I am here to tell them that their path to justice has a much clearer path. “

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