On Aug. 24, 1996, the body of a newborn girl washed up in Horsetooth Reservoir. More than 23 years later, we may finally find out what happened to her Fort Collins Coloradoan
A new disposition hearing has been set for the Colorado woman arrested in Larimer County’s 1996 “Baby Faith” homicide.
Jennifer Katalinich, of Erie, appeared in Eighth Judicial District Judge Susan Blanco’s Larimer County courtroom Thursday morning. There, her next hearing was set for 11:30 a.m. June 29.
Katalinich’s attorneys, David Mestas and Andy Gavaldon, also subpoenaed Larimer County Coroner Dr. James Wilkerson before the court Thursday, where Wilkerson produced original documents from his office regarding the case.
Katalinich, 42, was arrested Nov. 5 and charged with first-degree murder of a victim under 12 in a position of trust and second-degree murder. Both charges are related to the homicide of Baby Faith, an unidentified newborn girl whose body washed up on Horsetooth Reservoir’s rocky shores in a garbage bag on Aug. 24, 1996.
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Mestas later told the Coloradoan he and Gavaldon subpoenaed Wilkerson to ensure Katalinich’s defense team had every piece of discovery in the case, and Mestas said he is now confident they do.
Katalinich’s June 29 disposition hearing was set for at least 30 minutes to allow time for possible victim impact statements.
“Right now, we’re not in a position to make any more comments,” Mestas added Thursday.
Katalinich’s arrest was largely the result of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation assisting Larimer County Sheriff’s Office investigators by re-typing the infant’s DNA and inputting it into a public genealogy database.
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The same method, often called forensic genealogy, led the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office to solve its own “Baby Doe” case earlier this year when DNA revealed the parentage of Pueblo’s “Baby Hope.” Hope, a long-unidentified newborn girl, was pulled from the Arkansas River also on Aug. 24, 1996. Investigators quickly determined the infants and their cases were not related.
Though forensic genealogy led investigators to Katalinich, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office has repeatedly declined to release whether the woman is Baby Faith’s mother.
Katalinich, who was going by her maiden name, Tjornehoj, when Baby Faith died, has not entered a plea in the case. She remains out on bond.
Erin Udell reports on news, culture, history and more for the Coloradoan. Contact her at ErinUdell@coloradoan.com. The only way she can keep doing what she does is with your support. If you subscribe, thank you. If not, sign up for a subscription to the Coloradoan today.
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