1996 Cold Case Homicide Solved 

On October 24th, 1996, at about 0800 hours, Aurora police officers and homicide detectives were dispatched to the alley in the 1200 block of Iola Street.  They discovered the body of twenty-five-year-old Tangie Sims.  Her body had been dumped at the location after she was violently assaulted and stabbed to death.  The initial investigation revealed Sims was last seen walking to a semi-truck.  In addition, it was determined the suspect had cut himself during the murder and had left drops of blood at the scene.  Samples of the suspect’s blood were recovered.

Unfortunately, the case went cold and remained that way for a lengthy period of time.  Current MCHU Detectives Steve Conner and Michael Prince continued to work this case for the family of the victim.  They never quit following up on leads and revisiting the case file.  They knew the best chance of solving this homicide would be through the recovered blood left by the suspect and the incredible advancements that had been made in DNA analysis.

In 2019 advancements in DNA, specifically genealogical research, lead to a break in the case.  United Data Connect, Inc. through the excellent forensic work a genealogist produced a possible suspect by comparing the blood sample to known DNA from a relative.  Detectives Conner and Prince immediately began following up on this information.  The leads took them to North Dakota and Idaho where they located a member of the suspect’s immediate family.  The family member was cooperative and provided a DNA sample to the detectives. 

United Data Connect, Inc. was able to positively identify Wesley Backman DOB 04/12/1955 as the suspect in this horrible crime.  Detectives learned that Backman had passed away in 2008.  The detectives discovered Backman had been an over the road truck driver and had lived in many different locations throughout the United States to include Aurora, CO. 

The excellent work done by the original investigators, the incredible determination of Detectives Conner and Prince, as well as the amazing work done by United Data Connect, Inc. allowed the family of Sims to finally obtain some solace and closure.  The costs of this investigation were provided by Crime Stoppers which continues to provide invaluable assistance with criminal investigations. 

Detectives Conner and Prince continue to work with other police agencies across the country to determine if Backman was responsible for additional unsolved homicides.

Aurora Police Department 
Media Relations Unit

Posted by [email protected] On 15 January, 2020 at 4:44 PM  

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