New information on 36-year-old cold case: Man's body found in 1987 identified, cause of death still a mystery

New information on 36-year-old cold case: Man’s body found in 1987 identified, cause of death still a mystery

(As originally published with additional photos, Tue, November 7th 2023, 9:21 PM EST)

WALDEN, Colo. (TND) — It has been 36 years since the body of a man was found in northern Colorado and this week, authorities were finally able to identify him.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office announced the homicide victim was 24-year-old Jerry Mikkelson.

Authorities credit advancements in technology for the finding.

Mikkelson’s body was discovered on Oct. 18, 1987, five miles from the Wyoming border.

He had long been buried but his remains were exhumed in June, and that led to new DNA samples and the discovery of a surgical titanium rod in his right femur.

Mikkelson’s family confirmed he’d broken his femur six years before his death.

According to the police report filed decades ago by a family member, Mikkelson willingly left his home in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Aug. 8, 1983. After that, it’s believed he spent time in Pittsburgh, Kansas, Wyoming, and possibly Colorado.

New information on 36-year-old cold case: Man's body found in 1987 identified, cause of death still a mystery
Jerry Mikkelson’s body was discovered in 1987 but he wasn’t identified until now. (Photos via Jackson Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Soil samples found in his hair led authorities to believe Mikkelson was murdered in Wyoming and brought to Colorado.

Mikkelson was born on Aug. 12, 1963. He was described as five-foot-nine tall and weighing about 160 pounds at the time of his disappearance. He had brown eyes and brown hair that had a naturally curly or wavy texture.

Anyone with information about Mikkelson or how he died is urged to email tips@jacksoncountyco.gov or leave a message on the sheriff’s office tip line at 970-875-7069.

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