Colorado Remains Found Over 3 Decades Ago Identified, Death Still Mystery
Thanks to advancements in technology, a woman's remains that were found in Colorado have been positively identified.
Colorado Farmer Discovers Body of Woman
It was 1988 when a Colorado farmer reported to authorities that he had found a woman's body on his property. Police scoured the scene looking for evidence, documenting soil conditions, and looking for anything that could identify the woman or her killer.
Unfortunately, nothing was found and the woman was listed as a Jane Doe. Investigators believed that the woman's remains had been there for approximately 1 to 3 years. The woman's remains were buried in the Springfield Cemetery and eventually, the case went cold.
A Daughter Searching for Her Mother
In 1996, a Texas woman reported her mother missing, stating that she had last heard from her in 1986 or 1987 by a collect call from Colorado. The woman even submitted DNA to the McAllen police department in 2004 in an effort to find her mother.
At that time, authorities in Baca County had no idea that their Jane Doe was in fact the woman's missing mother, Nora Elia Castillo.
Dusting off A Colorado Cold Case
It was May 2021 when the Baca County Sheriff’s and Coroner’s Office were contacted by an intern looking to submit their Jane Doe's DNA into NamUs, a national missing and unidentified persons clearinghouse and resource center for missing and unidentified remains cases that was launched in 2007.
At the time the DNA that had been previously collected was determined to be unusable for the database, so the body had to exhumed in December 2021 to collect new DNA samples. From there the samples were transported to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and entered into NamUs.
On September 26, 2022, Baca County was officially notified of a familial match by NamUs. Authorities reviewed the case and found that the information submitted in Texas back in 2004 was consistent with the details of the Jane Doe case, and were able to determine that the woman found in 1988 was in fact, Nora Elia Castillo, the missing mother of the Texas woman.
The woman's family has since been able to visit Nora's resting grounds and even the location where she was discovered. However, authorities are still unaware of what happened to lead to Castillo's death.
If you have any information about Nora Elia Castillo or this case, please contact the Baca County Sheriff’s Office at (719) 523-4511 or the McAllen Texas Police Department at (956) 681-2221. The Baca County Sheriff’s Office will continue to investigate this case as a potential homicide.