Arrest made in 1996 ‘Baby Faith’ homicide in Larimer County

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LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — A woman was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder in the 1996 “Baby Faith” homicide case, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Jennifer Katalinich, 42, of Erie was arrested early Tuesday morning on charges of first-degree murder and second-degree murder.

Katalinich made a court appearance on Tuesday morning, posted a $25,000 cash bond and has been released. She is due back in court on Jan. 21.

“Baby Faith” was an unidentified newborn whose body was found by two 11-year-old boys on the shores of Horsetooth Reservoir west of Fort Collins on Aug. 24, 1996.

An investigation found the child suffocated after being wrapped in a plastic trash bag.

An autopsy determined the newborn girl died by suffocation and ruled the death a homicide.

Several leads over the years were exhausted and the case was declared cold.

In August 2006, the case was reopened in hopes advances in DNA technology could produce new leads. However, no new information surfaced.

In November 2016, DNA evidence was resubmitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for updated analysis.

On July 17, investigators found five individuals had the probability of being related to “Baby Faith.” Four of the five were most probable to have information in the case.

On Oct. 6, investigators interviewed three people in Minnesota. All three were excluded as suspects.

Investigators then traveled to Maryland and met with the fourth person and determined Katalinich could have information. The sheriff’s office did not say what that information was.

Katalinich was interviewed by investigators on Oct. 18 and her case was given to the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office.

On Friday, a warrant was issued for Katalinich. She surrendered Tuesday.

“This case serves as a great reminder that (the sheriff’s office) is determined to solve all cases despite the amount of time that passes after the commission of the crime,” Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said.

“If often takes just one citizen to come forward with information to spark new life into a cold case.”

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