Local cold case to be showcased on national TV show
SUMMIT COUNTY – A new Discovery Channel television program will air a feature Thursday on the 1982 murders of Barbara Jo Oberholtzer and Annette Schnee, two young women who were last seen hitchhiking separately out of Breckenridge.The show, called “Sensing Murder,” enlists two of America’s top psychics to work with local detectives to find new clues in unsolved murder mysteries around the country.Psychics Laurie Campbell and Pam Coronado visited Breckenridge and Park County in May to film an episode called “Mountain Murders.””The goal is for their psychic visions to give the detectives new leads in the hunt for the killers of innocent people,” according to the Discovery Channel website.While the psychics’ theories cannot be used as evidence in court, their information can provide fresh insight to authorities working the cases, the website said. The program is also designed to elicit tips from viewers, who may remember tidbits about the cases after hearing the psychics’ thoughts.Schnee, 21, and Oberholtzer, 29, both disappeared on Jan. 6, 1982. Both women were last seen hitchhiking alone out of Breckenridge toward Park County. At the time, Schnee lived in Blue River and Oberholtzer lived in Alma.Oberholtzer’s body was found the next day on a snowy embankment near the summit of Hoosier Pass, and Schnee’s body was found six months later face down in Sacramento Creek in a rural area past Alma. Both died from a single gunshot wound.No arrests have been made in the case, although investigators have ruled out numerous people of interest over the years – including four serial killers who passed through the Summit County area in 1982 – using DNA testing.A preview clip of the upcoming show on the Discovery Channel website shows interviews with Oberholtzer’s widower, Jeff Oberholtzer; Breckenridge private investigator Charlie McCormick, who sits on a task force formed to help solve the murders; and former Colorado Bureau of Investigation detective Jim Hardtke. The interviews are intermingled with shots of the Park County Sheriff’s Office, and dramatic reenactments of the night of the murders.When the show taped last spring, McCormick, who has devoted two decades to solving the crimes, said he hoped “Sensing Murder” would help bring answers to the cold case.”Sensing Murder” will be the second time the 24-year-old murders have received national exposure – they were also the focus of an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” in the 1990s.”Sensing Murder” premiered on July 6 with a piece on the murder of University of Colorado senior Susannah Chase, who was beaten to death on Dec. 21, 1997. The “Mountain Murders” episode airs nationwide on Thursday at 10 p.m. EST, or 8 p.m. in Summit County. It repeats at midnight on Friday. Five other episodes are scheduled to run in the show’s first season, including another Colorado case involving the torture and murder of 53-year-old Al Kite in the basement of his Aurora home in May 2004.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13625, or at email@example.com.
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