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Alie Berrelez murder solved, say Colo. cops, who I.D. suspect in 1993 cold case

Alie Berrelez murder solved, 1993 killing of Colo 5-year-old solved
Alie Berrelez Personal Photo

(CBS/KCNC/AP) ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Police in the Denver suburb of Englewood have identified a man suspected in the 1993 killing of 5-year-old Alie Berrelez. But they say the investigation is over because he has died.

According to CBS station KCNC, authorities on Tuesday identified the suspect as Nicholas Stofer through DNA evidence. He died in 2001 at age 41, so police say they're closing the case.

"Our case will be closed knowing that Nicolas Stofer was the individual that caused the disappearance and the death of Alie Berrelez," Englewood Police Chief John Collins said in a press conference.

Stofer lived in the same apartment building as Alie. He was questioned early in the investigation but released because of lack of evidence.

The girl disappeared from outside the building on May 18, 1993. Four days later, a bloodhound dog led authorities to her body in a duffel bag in a canyon outside of Denver.

KCNC reports that Stofer's DNA matches genetic material recovered from the girl's underwear and partially matches DNA from the waistband.

"He didn't come up on the radar in regards to a child predator with multiple convictions, it was nothing like that," Collins said. "It's my understanding that alcohol and drugs played a large part in his life."

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