In Salida, Colorado, married mother of two Beverly England would disappear from a park, leaving her two kids with a friend. Now police believe they finally know what happened to her.
It was a sunny day in June 1980. Eight-year-old Cayl and 5-year-old Bricia were playing at the park when their mother, Beverly England, left them with a friend, explaining she needed to meet with a woman. Beverly was never seen again.
The day she disappeared their dad found Beverly's car near the park. Her shoes and purse still inside.
Soon after her disappearance, ugly rumors started swirling. Cayl and Bricia learned over the years their mom was accused of having an affair with another woman's husband.
Denver affiliate KDVR is following the story.
Only recently detectives announced their father Dale is not a suspect. But Cayl, who became a cop partly because of his mother's disappearance, says a cloud of doubt and whispers followed his dad since his mother vanished.
Beverly's disappearance remained one of Colorado's oldest mysteries, stumping police for years. Eventually, the case grew cold.
Then 12 years later a secret is revealed: 400 feet down a steep mountain ravine, a scrap metal collector finds human remains. He reports it to the sheriff's department, but incredibly the findings fall through the cracks.
No one alerts the Salida Police, even though they had the unsolved missing-person case of Beverly England sitting on a shelf all these years.
The sheriff sent the bones to a pathologist, who wrongly assumed the remains were from a 100-year-old pioneer woman. From there, the pathologist sent the bones to a college laboratory, where they sat for 23 more years.
"Just luckily somebody stumbled on them and found them and gave us the opportunity to do what we are doing now," said Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze.
From there, they were sent to a lab in Fort Worth, Texas, where they used new DNA technology to determine the bones were Beverly England's.
"This technology did not exist in 1992, so when Beverly England went missing, and even when those remains were recovered, DNA was not being used for missing and unidentified cases," said B.J. Spamer, Missing Person Unit, University of North Texas Health and Sciences Center.
After more than 35 years, the case is solved.
With Beverly's DNA identified, detectives went back to the scene where her remains were found. It's there that cops say they found key evidence that could lead to an arrest, but they remain tight-lipped about what exactly it is.
"I feel good, good that we may very well solve it," said Salida Police Chief Terry Clark. "I'm very hopeful that they will end up making an arrest off of this."
Investigators have pinpointed a person of interest but they won't reveal that person's identity.