Suspect arrested within the loss of life of a teenage lady who disappeared in 1976

2021-04-04 04:14:07

“Again then, issues have been somewhat completely different,” stated Miriam Colon-Veltman, Evelyn’s niece. “It was a unique tradition, a unique time, within the 70s. You get your girlfriend pregnant, you progress out, and that is how it’s.”

Colon-Veltman stated the couple moved into an residence collectively quickly thereafter and Colon’s mom would usually keep in contact with the 2 to see how they have been doing. Sooner or later, although, her mom went to the residence to go to and no person answered the door.

“She simply left,” Colon-Veltman stated. “Folks across the neighborhood, they stated, ‘Oh, they moved away.’ So that is the story that we grew up studying.”

Relations instructed CNN they obtained a letter from Sierra later saying that he and Colon have been OK, however that she did not wish to have any contact together with her household.

Evelyn’s nephew, Luis Colon Jr., stated his father — Evelyn’s brother — instructed him rising up that she would attain out to the household when she was prepared. “They at all times felt she left with him to start out her new life with him and she or he simply needed to remain away.”

The household by no means heard from Evelyn once more.

‘Beth Doe’

What the household did not know was that her physique was present in 1976 however remained unidentified till Pennsylvania State Police recognized the stays as Evelyn practically 45 years later.

The small print of her loss of life, in response to the Nationwide Middle for Lacking and Exploited Youngsters (NCMEC), are grotesque. Evelyn’s physique was discovered dismembered in three suitcases on the banks of the Lehigh River, beneath a bridge of Interstate 80 in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, on December 20, 1976.
Evelyn was in her third trimester and her fetus, a woman, had been faraway from her physique and was discovered together with her in one of many suitcases, in response to the NCMEC.

Investigators within the case had given the stays the identify “Beth Doe” and that how she was identified till this week. In an announcement despatched to CNN Friday, Pennsylvania State Police stated that it had each confirmed the identification of the stays as Evelyn Colon and her fetus, and arrested a suspect: Luis Sierra, Colon’s boyfriend.

Sierra, now 63, was arrested and charged with one depend of legal murder in Ozone Park, New York on March 31, the place he’s awaiting extradition, the assertion stated. No different particulars have been launched.

“Quite a few interviews and investigational processes have been performed following her identification which led to the event of a suspect,” in response to the assertion.

CNN has reached out to the Carbon County District Legal professional’s workplace to find out whether or not Sierra has retained an lawyer.

Colon-Veltman referred to as Trooper Brian Noll with the Pennsylvania State Police a “hero,” noting that the division frequently reopened the case during the last a number of many years.

The reply they by no means anticipated

Colon Jr. and Colon-Veltman, who’re brother and sister, instructed CNN Saturday that the household by no means believed something nefarious had occurred to their aunt. The idea was that she had a household of her personal and was caring for them by means of the years.

However they nonetheless needed to search out out what occurred to her. Colon Jr. stated that his father would consistently seek for her and had hoped to search out her in more moderen years, with the arrival of the Web and Fb.

“I might see my grandmother, she would stroll round Jersey Metropolis and search for her,” he stated. “‘Hey, did you see Evelyn?’ She would suppose she noticed her and inform my different grandmother, ‘Hey, I believe I noticed Evelyn!’ She would say, ‘I do not know why, I can not discover her.'”

Colon Jr. stated he would search for his long-lost aunt and Colon-Veltman stated she even tried reaching out to individuals on Fb who could have been associated to them.

“I used to be wanting up these individuals on Fb, and I went and messaged all these individuals,” she stated. “I really feel like an fool now, doing that and (I might need been) scared I may’ve tipped any individual off, however even I used to be on the lookout for her.”

A part of Colon Jr.’s makes an attempt to search out his aunt included submitting his DNA to a number of family tree websites.

“About 4 years in the past, I heard concerning the DNA stuff and I needed to see hey, this is able to be an superior software if I may join with household and particularly, join with my cousin, as a result of I knew she had a child, or cousins, a number of kids, or her,” he stated. “So I received the kits, bought one for me, for my spouse, ordered one other one from one other web site as a result of I felt the extra websites I am on, the extra probability that one thing would come about from that.”

Distant kinfolk — “fourth cousins, or one thing like that” — confirmed up, he stated, however by no means his aunt or her baby. That each one modified in early March.

“I get notified that ‘Hey, your DNA was matched to a sufferer of a murder,'” Colon Jr. stated. “So we received in contact and so they requested me, ‘Are you aware anybody in your loved ones?’ and I instantly, as soon as they reached out to me, I knew it was her.”

Colon-Veltman stated her brother then despatched her sketches and a hyperlink to a Wikipedia article on the “Beth Doe” case. The article included a composite sketch that Colon Jr. stated he thought may resemble a relative.

“We by no means heard of ‘Beth Doe,’ ever,” Colon-Veltman stated. “As quickly as I noticed the image, I stated, ‘That appears like my niece,’ with out pondering something. So I referred to as (my brother) and I am like, ‘Hey bro, what is that this hyperlink you despatched me?’ He took a deep breath — my brother, he is a really emotionally secure particular person, so for him to take a deep breath like that, that is an enormous deal for him.”

After practically 45 years, Pennsylvania State Police had recognized Beth Doe, and within the course of, they discovered Evelyn Colon.

“It was apparent, there was no different particular person in my household who was lacking,” Colon Jr. stated. “And that is when the ball began rolling.”

“I needed to search out her however not discover her deceased,” he stated.

Planning to lastly say goodbye

Colon’s physique was buried in White Haven, Pennsylvania, and the neighborhood has been tending to her grave ever since.

“We’re so grateful for that neighborhood, that Carbon County neighborhood, that they cherished her, that they cared for her,” Colon-Veltman stated. “They handled her like their very own, these random individuals for all these years.”

Colon-Veltman has arrange a GoFundMe to lift cash for her prolonged household, a few of which is as far-off as Puerto Rico, to journey collectively to Evelyn’s gravesite and provides her and her daughter the right goodbye they by no means may.

Evelyn would have turned 60 on April 17, which can also be Colon-Veltman’s birthday. She stated she’s unsure when the household will have the ability to honor Evelyn in particular person, between Covid-19 and her aunt in Puerto Rico needing a passport.

Within the meantime, the household has named Evelyn’s unborn daughter Emily Grace, as Evelyn’s two sisters believed Emily to be the identify Evelyn would have given her and Grace representing “the grace of God.”

“I believe that, in mild of the entire Easter season, with the Christ resurrection, her identification, her case, her life, the justice for her homicide, is being really resurrected from her grave, proper?” Colon-Veltman stated. “And it is a highly effective season for us as a household.”

Colon-Veltman stated her father — Evelyn’s brother — stays “heartbroken, anxious and his nerves are too shaken” to debate the case. “He is comfortable we discovered her, however so, so heartbroken that his sister is gone and even the child,” she stated.

Each Colon-Veltman and Colon Jr. stated the result was not the one the household had hoped for, however they’re glad they’ve a solution to the whereabouts of their lacking aunt in any case these years.

“We lastly, probably, received the reply,” Colon Jr. stated. “It provides me peace to know — a minimum of now I do know and we all know that she wasn’t, she did not purposely go away us. It is nothing that we did. And that basically, actually makes me really feel good to know.”

CNN’s Evan Simko-Bednarski contributed to this report.

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