New information released as Colorado Springs police continue investigation into 1988 cold case

Mary Lynn Renkel-Vialpando
Mary Lynn Renkel-Vialpando / FOX21 File Photo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado Springs police have released new information in connection with a cold case from 1988.

According to police, 24-year-old Mary Lynn Renkel-Vialpando, a married mother with a 4-year-old child, was found murdered on June 5, 1988. Renkel-Vialpando’s body was found in an alley north of the 2600 block of W. Colorado Avenue, near S. 26th Street and W. Pikes Peak Avenue. Officials say Renkel-Vialpando had died of blunt force trauma injuries.

An investigation revealed Renkel-Vialpando was last seen by her husband, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law at around 2 a.m. on June 5 after she returned home from a wedding in Pueblo. Police say as they got out of the car near their home located in the 2600 block of W. Kiowa Street near N. 22nd Street and W. Pikes Peak Avenue, Renkel-Vialpando and her husband began fighting, and she reportedly ran away from the area. Police say the people she was with did not know where she was going and were unable to find her after a short search.

Authorities interviewed relatives, friends, and associates and conducted an extensive neighborhood follow-up. Witnesses interviewed believed they may have seen Renkel-Vialpando inside Roger’s Bar off West Colorado Avenue between 2:30 and 3 a.m. that day, and thought she may have left the bar through the back door leading to the alley.

During the course of the investigation, several potential suspects were identified and numerous items of forensic evidence were collected from the crime scene.

In 2017, the Colorado Springs Police Department sought the help of a DNA technology company specializing in DNA phenotyping and were able to produce trait predictions for the suspect using available DNA evidence from the investigation. Authorities say individual predictions were made for the suspect’s ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape. By combining these attributes of appearance, a “snapshot” composite was produced depicting what the suspect may have looked like around age 25.

>> Click here to see a PDF of the snapshot composite and phenotype report.

Police say it’s important to remember that the composites are scientific approximations of appearance based on DNA and are not likely to be exact replicas of appearance. Environmental factors such as smoking, drinking, diet, and other non-environmental factors like facial hair, hairstyle, scars, etc. can not be predicted by DNA analysis.

DNA composite photo / Colorado Springs Police Department

Right now, no chargeable suspects have been identified, and the investigation into Renkel-Vialpando’s murder remains open and active.

Anyone with information or is a witness to this investigation is asked to call the Colorado Springs Police Department at (719) 444-7000; or if you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (719) 634-STOP (7867) or 1-800-222-8477.

 

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