Ten more unsolved Denver murders: Read victims' personal stories
In May, we shared a post featuring personal stories of victims in ten unsolved Denver murders, with the information provided by Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons, an organization devoted to making sure no case or loved one is forgotten.
More photos below.
Unfortunately, there are many more tragic events of this type -- and, presumably, a corresponding number of killers still walking free. Read about ten more victims below, and click on the links for additional details, including law-enforcement contact info to use if you know something that can help solve these crimes.
Gregory Scott Stone, 37, graduated from Brentwood High School near St. Louis then joined the US Army in 1974. Scott achieved the rank of Sergeant and received an honorable discharge in 1978.
Sports minded, the 6'3" Stone played basketball on a German team as well as baseball. Scott loved to fish and hunt. Everyone loved him. "He was everyone's friend," said Scott's mother, Imogene Stone, of Aldrich, MO. He also loved animals and had dogs of his own.
A friend with whom Scott served in the Army told of his family's pizza and trucking business which led Scott to go into trucking after his service.
Scott married Sharon and they became the parents of twin girls, Lisa and Monica. They settled in East Alton, Illinois near St. Louis.
He bought his own Kenworth tractor and hauled cross country for Mayflower Transit.
In moving furniture and household goods, Scott would frequently hire help from a labor pool in the city of delivery. But he befriended a man by the name of Lance W. Wright and gave him a job helping on the truck.
In November 1992, Scott was headed west, hauling a load to California, with Lance on board. They encountered snow and decided to overnight in Hays, Kansas. Scott, who kept a gun in the truck for protection, cashed "com" checks for over $1000. He was murdered early in the morning of Nov 25. His body was found June 6, 1993 wrapped in a moving blanket under a bridge on 144th Street near Brighton, Colorado by a farmer.
Imogene Stone believes Lance Wright murdered her son, stole his money and his truck, then dumped his body near Brighton. "Lance had been at my house and eaten at my table." Mrs. Stone has made many trips from her Missouri home to Colorado to urge investigation of her son's murder and prosecution of those responsible. On a September 2003 trip, personnel from the sheriff's office and District Attorney did meet with Mrs. Stone and explain their work on the case. Mrs. Stone made another trip in 2005. She is helping authorities by supplying information developed by a private investigator.
"I remember the last time Scott called. He said "I love you, Mom."" When asked how she could find closure, Imogene replied: "There'll be closure when they close the lid on my coffin." Imogene Stone is one of FOHVAMP's most persistent family members in seeking justice for her son.
Scott also is survived by a sister, Pamela Grabulski of Missouri.
Michelle Mellema-Witherell, 24, had been in 4-H since she was 9, raising sheep and building a flock that won widespread acclaim. She also showed Arabian horses. Raised in Parker, CO, Michelle graduated Ponderosa High and became a licensed real estate agent in business with her parents, Everett & Cathy Mellema.
She married Jeremy Witherell in September 1992. The newlyweds moved to Pennsylvania where Jeremy went to work with his brother who was starting a new publication. But all was not well between Michelle and Jeremy. In a phone call to her mother, in which she disclosed she planned to return to Parker, Michelle said "I don't think it is God's will that anyone live in an abusive situation."
On December 20, 1992, her body was found lying in the middle of a driveway near the apartment where the couple lived. Jeremy explained that "following an argument" a portion of the balcony wall, on which Michelle was leaning, gave way causing Michelle to lose her balance and fall. In spite of injuries inconsistent with a jump or fall, the coroner ruled the cause of death "undetermined."
Everett & Cathy Mellema posted a $50,000 reward, hired experts, sought second opinions and pressed an unwavering campaign to learn the truth. Finally, in January 1998, a coroner's inquest changed the official manner of death to homicide. Subsequently, Jeremy Witherell stood trial for causing Michelle's death but was acquitted.
Richard Walter and the VIDOQ Society reviewed the case and determined there was an inadequate investigation. Together with a Philadelphia law firm, they have presented their findings to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Continue to read more about ten more unsolved Denver murders, and to see photos of the victims.