Decades after being rescued by a Colorado storm, a man was accused of killing two women on the same day.


Irene Franklin, 88, has been suffering for nearly 40 years because she didn’t know who shot her 21-year-old daughter and died in a snowstorm in Colorado.

Annette Kaishney was shot behind on January 6, 1982.

“When the holidays come and the family gets together, you think about it. You get up in the morning and think about it. Franklin, Port Richey, Florida, said on Tuesday.

Annette Schnee went missing in 1982.  (Via KUSA)

Annette Schnee went missing in 1982. (Via KUSA)

In February, she received the news that she thought she had never heard of it. Police arrested Alan Lee Phillips, 70, for the murder.

He was also accused of killing Barbara Joe Oberholtz, who was last alive on January 6, 1982. In addition to murder, retired mechanic and three fathers, Phillips, are guilty of kidnapping and assault.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office said they weren’t together, but 29-year-old Oberholtz and Schnee were “last seen hitchhiking outside the town of Brickenridge.”

Both women were shot dead, according to the sheriff’s office.

Oberholtz’s body was found at the top of Houserpass the day after she disappeared, but officials said it took six months for investigators to find Schnee’s body in the “rural areas” of Park County.

Barbara Oberholtz, who went missing in 1982.  (Via KUSA)

Barbara Oberholtz, who went missing in 1982. (Via KUSA)

A lawyer representing Philips did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Authorities said the murder case decades ago was broken with the help of a forensic geneticist who used the database to connect the DNA collected in the case to Phillips. Investigators were able to identify Phillips near where the woman disappeared after being rescued from the Guanella Pass in the Colorado mountains the night Phillips was last seen.

His rescue, which took place after Colorado sheriffs flashed the SOS pain symbol he saw during a commercial flight, attracted national headlines, Det said. Sgt. Wendy Kipple from the Park County Sheriff’s Office.

Dave Montoya was the Fire Chief of Clear Creek County when he was warned of a pickup stuck in Guanella Pass decades ago.

“We ended up picking the guy straight out of hell,” Montoya told NBC affiliates. KUSA This week in Denver.

Dave Montoya still vividly remembers the day. He was the Fire Chief of Clear Creek County in 1982.  (Via KUSA)

Dave Montoya still vividly remembers the day. He was the Fire Chief of Clear Creek County in 1982. (Via KUSA)

The arrest of Phillips marked “the biggest case of my career,” Kipple said. She acknowledged the credit of a former investigator who chased Reed and found evidence, saying that several agencies had taken up the case over the decades. According to Kipple, the case file consists of 52 4-inch binders.

“It was a stroke of timing and good luck,” she said on Tuesday. “I am working on this case at a time when there are technological resources and technological advances.”

According to Kipple, the geneologist used a database legally accessible to investigators to infuse more than 12,000 people and pair the DNA police collected in the case with Phillips.

“The forensic lineage has infused more excitement and new life into the incident. By that time, we had almost exhausted all means and research leads,” said Kipple. “Then we started to see if he was actually our suspect and had the means and opportunities most likely to commit a crime.”

The motive for the killing is unknown, Kipple said, adding that he was relieved to be able to provide some comfort to Schnee and Oberholtz’s family.

Franklin said the arrest comforted her and provided some closure.

“You think,’I’m 88 years old. Maybe I’ll never know before I cross this planet,'” she said. “At least I know they have suspects in jail.”

Franklin said her daughter was “funny” and “lucky” and wanted to be a flight attendant.

She thank the investigators who never gave up on her daughter.

“I give them credit. They worked hard,” Franklin said.

Cindy French, 50, in Trinity, Florida, was 11 when her sister was killed. She often thinks about her sister’s last moments and how she was abandoned below freezing.

She is sad that her daughters lost to having an aunt and cousin to grow up with.

“It was robbed of us,” said French. “We had never seen her grow up. We had a sister who we had never really known, except when we were young.”

The French are hoping to attend the Phillips trial. Her message to him: “You had 39 years of freedom, and hopefully now it will be robbed of you. 39 years of freedom is too long.”

According to the Colorado Court of Justice, Philips is planning a preliminary hearing on September 13.

Oberholzer’s family was not asked to comment.

Posted on