Police release sketch of suspect in 1999 homicide of Colorado Springs hospital employee

Crime
Jennifer Watkins, left, and a composite sketch of the unidentified suspect accused of killing her. Colorado Springs Police Department

Police have released a sketch of the suspect in the 1999 homicide of a Colorado Springs hospital employee. 

Jennifer Lee Watkins, 23, was found dead on November 8, 1999. She was last seen November 5 at her job as a food service aide at Memorial Hospital on Boulder Street. When she didn’t pick up her children from her mother’s house after work that evening, her husband reported her missing. 

Three days later, a maintenance worker found Watkins’ body under a stairwell in a part of the hospital that was under construction. Investigators determined she had died of blunt force trauma to the head. 

Investigators collected several pieces of evidence and interviewed Watkins’ coworkers, associates, friends, and family members, but no suspects have been identified. 

Investigators recently sent the evidence to a Virginia lab that uses DNA to create a composite sketch of the suspect.

The DNA revealed the suspect was likely of northern European ancestry and likely had fair to very fair skin, blue or green eyes, blond or brown hair, and a few to some freckles.

DNA cannot be used to determine the suspect’s age, height, or weight, so the company produced a sketch showing what the suspect would have looked like as a 25-year-old with an average body mass index. The DNA also can’t predict environmental factors, like smoking, drinking, or diet, or non-environmental factors, like facial hair and scars. 

The composite sketch is available above. 

Anyone with information about this cold case is asked to call 719-444-7613, email CSPDColdCase@springsgov.com , or call Crime Stoppers at 719-634-STOP (7867). 

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