Lenado murder victim’s family says be patient
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
LENADO – The family of the 1979 murder victim found near Lenado but only recently identified released a statement Friday that said they cannot share their story yet for fear of compromising the criminal investigation.
Robin Allison, the daughter of Donald T. Allison, released a statement for her family through the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. The statement to the media, in its entirety, said:
“As much as I would like for his story to be told, at this time I can not talk to you about Donald Allison. I am holding out hope that with the aid of modern technology this case will be solved. To talk to you now would hinder the efforts of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. Something, I am not willing to do at this point.
“I am willing to tell you that it was through the government website for missing persons called “NAMUS” that the connection between Donald being a missing person and the Lenado man was made.
“You might be interested in looking into NAMUS and how it works and get the word out about the site. It was the key to this identification, and other people with missing loved ones will benefit from learning about it.
“I cannot stress enough how much I don’t want solving this case to be compromised because of too much information becoming public. In the future, when the situation is right I will be happy to talk to you. Thank you for taking an interest in this story. I am sorry I can’t be of further help at this time,” Allison’s statement concluded.
Donald Allison was shot to death, and his body was dumped in the woods about seven miles past the cluster of cabins in Lenado. The site is approximately 20 miles north of Aspen by road.
One .22-caliber bullet was lodged in the man’s chest. Another bullet of the same caliber went through his right eye socket. He was discovered Aug. 18, 1979, by a couple hunting mushrooms. The body was partially decomposed, and there was no identification.
The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office declared the incident a homicide, but it became a cold case when the body wasn’t identified and no suspects emerged. The sheriff’s office has continually entered information about the case into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Additional evidence became available because of technological advances in criminal investigations over the past three decades, according to Sheriff Joe DiSalvo.
A statement from the Sheriff’s Office said information put into the database matched elements entered by a law enforcement agency outside of Colorado in relation to Allison’s disappearance. After a possible match emerged, the Sheriff’s Office asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to compare the Lenado murder victim’s preserved fingerprints to those of Allison. The match was confirmed in April. DiSalvo announced the identification this week.
DiSalvo also has been cautious about sharing details of the case because investigators are tracking leads.
“We think there are some pretty viable leads in this,” DiSalvo said Wednesday. “The way I’m treating this is – this happened yesterday.”
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