Resolved: Rainbow Falls Doe

          This month’s Doe case deviates from my attempts to shed more light on BIPOC cases, so to make up for it I will be covering two linked missing men of color next month. I feel that it’s important to show the good news side of true crime as well, so we all remember that these cases do make headway. Cases do get solved. People get caught. Justice gets served. There has been a lot of movement in some big true crime cases in the past few weeks – Joseph James DeAngelo was sentenced to life in prison and his victims were finally able to speak their minds to his face. Yasar Abdel Said, who was placed on the FBI top 10 most wanted list after murdering his two teenage daughters for disrespecting their family (by daring to date a non-Muslim boy, for one of the daughters and for the other…I’m not sure; I can’t understand the logic of honor killings at all). Turns out his son and brother had been helping him fly under the radar for the past 12 years. But my point is that these cold cases can see movement, even when things seem stuck. And that’s what I’m writing about today, because the Rainbow Falls Doe has gotten her name back, after 27 years of being nameless in death.

Discovery

          On June 15, 1993, a hiker set out to spend their day in the Pike San Isabel National Forest. The hiker stumbled across a makeshift campsite somewhere between Woodland Park and Decker, and what they saw prompted them to call the police immediately. A young woman lay dead in a ramshackle tent, the process of decomposition having slowly begun in the time since her death. There were no identifying documents in this Doe’s belongings, leading to her to be called the Rainbow Falls Doe (note: I typically call Does by they/them pronouns as we do not know who they were in life – since we know that the Rainbow Falls Doe was Becky Redeker in life, and she used she/her pronouns, that’s what we’ll use). She had been beaten to death, with several blunt force injuries to her head.
          Despite the process of decomposition, the body was in good condition, having only been deceased for  a few days prior to being discovered. From what investigators could tell, the Doe had been between 13 and 25 years old, was biologically female, and had shoulder length light brown or blond hair, though they conceded that it may have been dyed. The vital statistics that the process of decomposition disrupted were estimated – the Doe stood between 5’6” and 5’8”, weight between 140lbs and 160lbs, and her eye color was unable to be determined. Her nails had been cut or chewed short, and she had both ears pierced once. She clearly had access to good healthcare, as she had a healed surgical scar on her upper left abdomen from a spleen removal surgery, and had had two of her wisdom teeth removed. There were no traces of drugs and no signs of disease upon postmortem examination of the body.
          The Doe had one piece of clothing and several pieces of jewelry on her person when she was discovered. The single piece of clothing was a black Harley-Davidson t-shirt. She wore one gold ring that was not a full band. She had one earring in her left ear with a plain, clear glass stone set on a plain post. She also wore two necklaces, which are fairly unique. The first is a tiger’s eye sphere held by gold talons or “wizard’s hands” – not sure where that specific description came from, but it’s listed on the Doe Network specifically, so that makes me wonder if the investigating agencies perhaps found the manufacturer. The second necklace was a black crystal point with a plain gold setting.

(A Reconstruction of the Rainbow Falls Doe.
via the Douglas County Coroner)

Investigation

          For years, the investigation has hit roadblocks. Each lead has hit a dead end, gathering little to no useful information that could lead to who the Rainbow Falls Doe was and why she met the fate she did. Over time, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Citizen Sleuths alike put forth a few suppositions to try and answer these questions. The first and perhaps most common supposition is that the Rainbow Falls Doe was living a transient lifestyle as a result of running away from home or living on the streets due to other circumstances. This is a logical conclusion to draw, based on the campsite she was found in. We’ll discuss this later on, when we discuss who Becky Redeker was.
          While there are no solid theories or suspects in the murder of Rainbow Falls Doe, it has been noted that she was discovered only a few days after a convention was held nearby. This convention was for the Vietnam Vets Motorcycle Club – which is not necessarily known for violence compared to other groups associated with motorcycles. The fact that the Rainbow Falls Doe was murdered so close to this gathering both in timeframe and geographically is too much to write off as coincidence. I’m not suggesting that the whole club is in on it, but perhaps a single drunken member (or a guest of a member, even) got carried away. At the very least, I feel like some member of the club must have seen or heard something. It’s the strongest investigative thread I can suss out from the publicly available information, at least.
          In 2013, the investigating agency made the decision to exhume the Rainbow Falls Doe – as new forensic tools became available, it became evident that more testing samples would be necessary. Samples underwent DNA testing and Isotope Analysis. The Isotope Analysis suggested that the Rainbow Falls Doe had been from Canada or Alaska.
          In January 2020, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office got in contact with a company called Data Connect that Sequences DNA and sent them a sample from the Rainbow Falls Doe. They received results from Data Connect in March. Then, they got to work. They used the DNA sequence to compare the Rainbow Falls Doe’s DNA to other DNA publicly available through GEDmatch. From the results, genetic genealogists were able to build more than 60 possible family trees for the Doe. Eventually, as investigators checked into the possible family trees, the Rainbow Falls Jane Doe’s biological father was found, and she was given her name back: Rebecca “Becky” Redeker.

(A photo of Becky Redeker prior to her disappearance.
via CBS Denver)

Who Was Becky Redeker?

          Becky Redeker was born in either 1973 or 74 and was 20 when she was murdered in 1993. She lived almost all of her life in and around Colorado Springs. She went to Manitou High (1985-1988) and Coronado High (1989). According to a timeline provided by the investigating agency, Becky lived in several group homes, which seems to indicate some sort of instability either emotionally or familially. I want to stress that getting support for issues is not a bad thing at all, and seeing the term “group home” may be jarring but we should not judge, especially when we have literally no further details. After these group homes, she seems to have hopped from place to place, living a transient lifestyle. It was this lifestyle that led to murkiness in the date of her disappearance. She was last heard from sometime in 1992 or 1993, while she was living homeless. Her mother and brother are still alive and in communication with investigators. 

Investigating Agencies

          If you have any information regarding Becky Redeker’s murder, please contact the proper authorities. You can contact the Douglas County Coroner’s office at 303-814-7198 in reference to case number 93-068. You can also reach the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at 303-660-7588 in reference to case number 9304194. You can also contact Metro Denver Crimestoppers to submit a tip anonymously. Part of the puzzle is in place now that Becky has gotten her name back, but we need to find who ended her life and bring them to justice. She deserves to rest in peace.

Sources

  1. http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/154ufco.html
  2. https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/vicap/unidentified-persons/jane-doe—pike-national-forest-colorado
  3. https://apps.colorado.gov/apps/coldcase/casedetail.html?id=3663
  4. https://www.douglas.co.us/coroner/unidentified-bodies/
  5. https://www.9news.com/article/news/crime/unsolved-womans-identity-still-a-mystery-decades-after-body-found-near-campsite/73-548015697
  6. https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/she-is-someone-she-is-no-longer-our-jane-doe-douglas-county-authorities-id-woman-killed-in-1993-cold-case
  7. https://www.mountainjackpot.com/2020/08/24/rainbow-falls-dead-body-mystery-reaches-a-partial-conclusion/
  8. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8627909/Body-1993-IDd-Missing-Colorado-Woman.html
  9. https://patch.com/colorado/across-co/colorado-woman-1993-cold-case-identified-thanks-dna

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