Colorado Springs police use DNA to sketch killer of Jennifer Watkins in 1999 cold case

By Kaitlin Durbin Updated: June 1, 2018 at 2:39 pm • Published: June 1, 2018

Investigators hope a composite drawing created from DNA evidence in an unsolved homicide in 1999 will unlock the mystery of 23-year-old Jennifer Lee Watkins' death.

Watkins was working as a hospital food service aide at Memorial Hospital on Nov. 5, 1999, when she disappeared before the end of her shift. Her family reported her missing when she failed to pick up her two children after work.

Her body was discovered three days later under a secluded stairwell in a part of the hospital that was under construction. An autopsy found she died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Despite exhaustive interviews with her co-workers, associates, friends and family, no suspects were identified. The trail later turned "cold," a term given to cases that remain unresolved after a year.

But law enforcement had collected numerous pieces of forensic evidence that this year were used to create a composite sketch of what Watkins' killer may have looked like at age 25 - a default value because the person's age cannot be determined from DNA.

Jennifer Lee Watkins 

The sketch shows a white male with golden-blond hair and faint blue eyes. Anyone who recognizes the sketch or has information about Watkins' death is asked to call the Colorado Springs Police Department's Homicide Cold Case Unit at 719-444-7613, or email To leave an anonymous tip, call Pikes Peak Crime Stoppers at 719-634-7867.

The Cold Case Unit currently has 97 unsolved homicide cases dating back to 1949.


Contact Kaitlin Durbin: 636-0362

Twitter: @njKaitlinDurbin

Facebook: Kaitlin Durbin

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