In Loving Memory: Patricia Louise Smith

Patricia Louise Smith

Patricia Louise Smith

Patricia Louise Smith would be 84 years old today. She was born on September 19, 1933. Her life was ended Jan 10, 1984 by an unknown person who raped and murdered her inside her own home. Patricia’s murder is connected to a string of hammer murders in Aurora, Colorado.

DNA

Unfortunately, having DNA has not advanced this or any of the above mentioned cases. No match has been found yet in the national databases. However, this John Doe will be charged with 18 counts, including three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of sexual assault, first-degree assault and two counts of sexual assault on a child and burglary.

Family First

Patricia Louise Smith was 51 years old when she died. She was a kind-hearted woman to whom family meant everything. She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a business owner.

When her daughter Chery was faced with divorce, Patricia didn’t hesitate to help Chery and her two grandchildren Amber and Joe to adjust to a new life. Patricia and husband Oliver Henry Smith decided that their daughter’s needs came first. Patricia would move to be with Chery and the children while Oliver would stay in Nebraska. Patricia started her own home interior design business. Oliver came over during the weekends.

Patricia, Chery, Amber, and Joe quickly fell into a routine of driving everyone to and from work and school. And it might just be this element that made the rape/murder possible. The times that Patricia was alone, the times that the home was empty, became predictable.

Staged Crime Scene

On January 10, 1984, Chery, Amber, and Joe together with cousin Valerie, were faced with the horror of finding the staged body of Patricia. Patricia had most likely come home for a quick lunch and was attacked somewhere in the house. It appeared her body was moved. If so, I wonder whether any tracks on the carpets were found.

There is a good chance that the attacker knew she lived there with small children. Her body was somehow made to look decent. Patricia was placed in a straight line on top of a carefully folded comforter. Her arms and hands were crossed over her chest as is she was in a casket. She was still wearing her boots and a sweater. The boots’ heels would be a good stop to check for touch DNA and dust to see if we can trace where the original crime scene was.

Some think that the body staging was done to spare the kids should they be the first to find the body. I disagree. This was taunting. The comforter was a Winnie the Pooh comforter. If the attacker really cared he would not have used a comforter with a beloved children’s character on it. He would have grabbed anything else. Second, if he really cared what the children would see he would not have left Patricia’s jeans pulled down. He would have completely covered her violated private parts.

Can you help?

If you lived near 12610 West Bayaud Avenue, Apartment 5, now known as the Panorama Subdivision, in the City of Lakewood, Colorado, on January 10, 1984 please think. Did you see or hear anything that day between 1:00 and 3:00pm? A car that didn’t belong to the neighbours? A stranger walking around the neighbourhood? Any person with too quick a step or with an expression on his face that made you look twice? Anything you know can help police.

Suspect Approximation

suspect Patricia Louise SmithBased on the DNA, Parabon used phenotyping to make this sketch of what the suspect can look like. Keep in mind that phenotyping can only tell within a certain percentage of confidence what characteristics a person may have such hair color, eye color, skin tone, the shape of the face, ancestry, or freckling.

These confidence statements give police a visual of what the DNA bearer most likely looked like. However, we need to be cautious.

Phenotyping images are “scientific approximations” – and are not exact replicas of the person’s appearance. Notable disparities can be created by environmental factors outside of the genetics, including drug use and drinking, smoking, weight gain, facial scars, and facial hair.

A huge concern is that the private companies that do the DNA phenotyping usually do not publish their software and methods used in scientific journals and are thus not open to peer review. Another concern is racial profiling. Determining ancestry is very complicated and as noted, environmental effects can have a great or sometimes even greater impact on people’s features.

Contact Information

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Lakewood Police Department Cold Case hotline at (303) 987-7474 or e-mail them at coldcase@lakewoodco.org

Rest in peace, Patricia Louise Smith.