Chris Wilcox, senior chief deputy district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, asks for any information on Akram Bada’an, who is believed to be the victim in a 33-year-old cold case. (CCM photo)

By Patty Nieberg, The Associated Press/Report for America

Colorado officials identified the victim of an unsolved 33-year-old homicide by using DNA analysis that traced the victim to relatives in Israel.

The victim was identified as 36-year-old Akram Bada’an, who was killed in August 1988. His body was found in Sheridan, a suburb just south of Denver, Sheridan Police Detective Bryan Penry announced at a press conference Wednesday.

Bada’an’s hometown and details that would explain his presence in Colorado weren’t immediately disclosed.

For decades, investigators believed the victim called John Doe to be a Mexican national, said Audrey Simkins, an analyst with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. In 2020, Sheridan police asked the bureau to review the case again.

Investigators collected enough genetic material in decades-old evidence items to use genetic genealogy technology which indicated the victim was of Middle Eastern descent, Simkins said. Officials then identified Bada’an using DNA and government records, Penry said.

Akram Bada’an

The investigation is ongoing. Officials asked the public to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers with any relevant information and are offering a $2,000 reward.

“The most important thing in this case, aside from giving the victim justice — is giving the victim his name back,” Penry said.