James Herman Dye, 64, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Evelyn Kay Day, who was sexually assaulted and strangled to death in November 1979, according to an affidavit.
Dye, who lives in Wichita, Kansas, is being held in Sedgwick County Jail there pending his extradition to Weld County, the Weld County District Attorney’s Office said in a press release on Friday.
Dye could not be reached for comment, but in a March 22 interview with detectives, Dye denied knowing or murdering the victim and said he had never heard of the murder, according to an edited affidavit filed in court.
It is unclear whether Dye has a lawyer.
Day, who was 29 at the time of her death, worked overnight as a corporate laboratory monitor at Aims Community College in Greeley, according to an affidavit. She was last seen by a student in her car in the campus parking lot at 10 p.m. on Nov. 26, 1979, the document said.
When he realized the next morning that Day had not come home, her husband, Stanley Charles Day, reported her missing.
Colleagues saw Day’s car along a road at about 5:30 p.m. on November 27 and discovered her body in the back. According to the affidavit, she had been strangled with the belt of her overcoat.
Authorities collected evidence and followed various leads but made no arrests, the affidavit said.
Last year, a “cold case” detective from Weld County asked the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to have DNA evidence of the day murder carried out by CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System, the affidavit said.
That database allows law enforcement and crime labs to share and search thousands of DNA profiles.
That DNA from the rape kit matched Dye, as did the DNA from Day’s jacket sleeve and scrapes from her fingernails, the affidavit said.
The detective contacted the college and found that Dye had been enrolled there as a college student in the summer and fall quarters of 1979 and other quarters in subsequent years, the affidavit said.
Agents interviewed Dye on March 22 in Wichita, the affidavit said.
The affidavit says: “The suspect denied knowing the victim. The suspect denied having a sexual relationship with the victim. The suspect denied ever touching the victim. The suspect denied that the victim ever touched him. The suspect denied that killing the victim. The suspect stated this was the first time he heard that the victim was murdered and he did not follow the investigation. “
A court date has not yet been set, the prosecutor’s office said.