A 63-year-old New Yorker has been charged with murdering his pregnant girlfriend 44 years after her remains were found in three suitcases dumped in a Pennsylvania river.
Luis Sierra, who was 19 when the murder took place, was charged with murder on Wednesday in the death of Evelyn Colon, a 15-year-old girl from Jersey City.
Evelyn’s remains were found in three suitcases along the Lehigh River in Carbon County, Pennsylvania, on December 20, 1976, along with her near-term fetus.
The cases were found under a highway overpass, and police believe it is likely they were thrown off a bridge by a moving vehicle. LehighValleyLive.com reports.
The remains remained unidentified for more than four decades and were buried in a grave labeled ‘Beth Doe’.
The remains were exhumed in 2007, and last year DNA tests finally helped identify her body, said 69 News
A GoFundMe page set up by the Colon family says that DNA from Evelyn’s cousin ultimately provided the breakthrough researchers needed.
Pictured: a reconstruction of what Evelyn Colon – formerly ‘Beth Doe’ – looked like. Her remains were recently identified, likely through DNA evidence, leading to a rift in her murder
Sierra, who was 15-year-old Evelyn’s boyfriend in 1976, was identified as a suspect.
“After her identification, numerous interviews and investigative processes were conducted, which led to the development of a suspect,” the state police said.
A press conference on the matter is expected to be held next week.
“The Pennsylvania State Police, in consultation with the Carbon County District Attorney’s Office, will provide detailed information on this case in the near future,” the state police said.
Colon, who was never technically reported missing, was strangled, shot and dismembered, with ears and nose cut off.
In 2020, Colon’s femur was sent to a lab in Texas, which helped create a DNA profile that may have been related to a living family member.
Colon was 15 and was carrying a child at the time of her murder (reconstruction pictured)
According to PAHomepageEvelyn’s sister Migdalia was interviewed by detectives and said the apartment shared by Evelyn and Luis was empty when her mother brought Evelyn soup in mid-December 1976.
Migdalia said Luis was insulting and jealous once he locked Evelyn in their apartment.
The family received a letter in 1977 claiming in Spanish that Evelyn and the baby were fine, but Evelyn probably did not write it as she was unable to write.
Sierra initially refused to know Evelyn when approached by investigators, but changed his tune, saying he last saw her in their apartment before leaving for work in 1976.
However, he could not state that he had made no effort to contact Evelyn, or the letter the family received.
Pictured: The Lehigh River, where Colon’s remains were first found (stock)
Evelyn’s identification has now resulted in a GoFundMe page for a good memorial to her and her baby.
“After 45 years of desperate search, our beloved Evelyn and her daughter were found through her nephew’s DNA match,” the page reads.
The hope of one day reuniting with her had long been etched in our hearts. She came from a family that loved her and one that longed to meet her and her child for the first time.
We never imagined this would be the way we would see her again. The gruesome cruelty of the murder of Evelyn and her baby has broken us deeply. ‘
The page says there are plans to choose a name for the baby and reunite his remains with Colon ahead of a proper memorial service.
Sierra will, according to the New York Post
Colon’s remains are currently located in White Haven, Pennsylvania