40-year-old murder remains unsolved
Craig — Forty years ago this month, Sheila Sawyer was found dead on U.S. Highway 13, seven miles south of Craig. Her body, discovered by two truck drivers at dawn April 10, 1975, was lying on the east side of the highway near the old Sterling Hard Ranch.
The Moffat County coroner determined that Sawyer had been shot three times with a .38 caliber bullet — two times in the chest at a distance and once point-blank above the eye. She was 31 and left behind a husband and four daughters.
But to this day no one knows who shot Sheila Sawyer.
“It’s an open cold case, unsolved homicide,” Moffat County Sheriff K.C. Hume said.
Sawyer had been working as a clerk at Scotty’s Liquors the night before her body was discovered. About 11 p.m., a customer found the store unattended and reported it to police.
Officers who responded to the call discovered an estimated $600 in cash was missing from the store along with Sawyer. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement did extensive fingerprinting of the store and the area where the body was discovered.
A week after the murder, Robert Williams, of Craig, was the leading suspect, but police never issued a warrant for his arrest.
Laura Clegg, Sawyer’s oldest daughter, was 12 when her mother was killed. Because she and her sisters were so young, they were sheltered by family members and didn’t speak about their mother’s death, Clegg said.
“We felt like we were kind of left out of everything,” she said.
As she got older, Clegg began to understand more about what happened but there is one question she may never have an answer to.
“It seems like that’s the biggest question all of us have,” she said, “why would somebody do that?”
Despite law enforcement’s best efforts, as more time passed, the case grew colder.
According to Hume, new information is always taken into consideration, even on a four-decades-old investigation such as this one.
“We continue to do that on all our unsolved cases,” Hume said.
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