DNA leads to arrest in 1982 murder of Racine native in Colorado

Cold case cracked. 

Nearly 40 years after a Racine woman was killed in the Rocky Mountains, an arrest has been made. 

FOX6 talked with her family who feared they'd never find closure.

Barbara "Bobbie Jo" Oberholtzer has remained in the hearts of her loved ones, ever since she was found murdered in Colorado in 1982. 

"She was beautiful. She was beautiful inside and out. Everybody loved Bobbie. She loved animals," Oberholtzer’s cousin Lisa Laudenbach said.

The Racine native and Park High School graduate was 29. 

"She did not deserve this at all," Laudenbach said.

Lisa Laudenbach

Oberholtzer and Annette Schnee disappeared separately after hitchhiking near the rocky mountains. Nearly 40 years later, DNA evidence helped crack the cold case. 

"I never thought I'd see the day, frankly," Investigator Charlie McCormick said. "I’ve been working on this case since 1989. Day after day after day. 32 years, bingo."

This week, authorities in Colorado announced the arrest of 70-year-old Alan Lee Phillips.

Alan Lee Phillips

Her family was emotional when learning of the arrest.

"We all just kind of sat there with our mouths open like ‘what? Are you kidding? They found him?’, you know?" she said.

Her family - holding onto memories and focused on finding answers.

"I just think right now the family is very satisfied that we finally, after so long, found the killer," McCormick said.

Oberholtzer’s husband says he cannot thank enough the people who never gave up the search for the truth... and says may justice be served. 

Investigators say blood found on a glove helped solve this case. 

Alan Phillips is facing kidnapping and murder charges.

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