SEATTLE — A Pierce County woman who was reported missing in 1993 was identified through DNA as the victim of a decades-old cold case homicide in Colorado.
On July 7, 1994, the body of a woman was found by a hiker on the Uncompahgre Plateau, south of Grand Junction in western Colorado. The Montrose County Sheriff’s Office began a homicide investigation.
Investigators referred to the woman as Windy Point Jane Doe.
Over the past 28 years, investigators from multiple law enforcement agencies tried to find out what happened to Windy Point Jane Doe.
In August 2020, investigators submitted the woman’s DNA for forensic genetic genealogy analysis.
In April 2022, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation forensic lab received a positive identification of Windy Point Jane Doe as Susan Hoppes, who was reported as a missing person from Pierce County in August 1993.
“It is truly remarkable that technology was able to give closure to the family of Susan Hoppes and to all that was involved in the case,” said Montrose County Sheriff Gene Lillard. “It has always been a goal to determine who she was and what actually happened to her. It has taken a huge team effort and lots of cooperation from multiple law enforcement agencies.”
The cold case is being investigated by the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators from Colorado are in en route to Washington state to gather more information on Hoppes and to meet with detectives and private investigators, according to the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office.