Probe into girl’s death continues
September 9, 1999
There has been a break in the investigation of the mysterious disappearance of a 15-year-old girl after a party 20 years ago.
The disappearance occurred after Marie Blee was last seen in 1979 at a party in Shadow Mountain Village west of Craig.
In June 1999, the Marie Blee Task Force was formed with members from the Moffat County Sheriff’s Department, Craig Police Department, Hayden Police Department and Routt County Sheriff’s Office in a collaborative effort to investigate the 1979 disappearance of Blee. Since the task force began, many interviews have been conducted with people who may have information about the case. Information obtained from these interviews led to various sites in Moffat and Routt counties that may help solve the case. Evidence, including bones, have been found during the investigation, according to Moffat County Undersheriff Jerry Hoberg.
Hoberg said other evidence has been found during a search Thursday, but did not offer details because of the ongoing investigation.
“There were some remains found at the scene and we plan to send those to CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation) to determine exactly what they are,” said Hoberg. “We found some of those remains at different sites and those sites were in Moffat and in Routt counties. We found some bones and we can not speculate if they are animal bones or human bones.”
The CBI tests are expected to take several months to identify the origin of the bones.
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Paul Blee, father of the missing girl, was present during the site searches.
“Paul assisted us yesterday on several of the sites just as a father who is trying to put some closure to this crime,” said Hoberg.
The statute of limitations may make pressing charges against any suspects tough since the crime is more than 20 years old.
“Some of the charges that we could have filed back in 1979 may not even be relevant now,” said Hoberg. He said he couldn’t speculate as to what charges may or may not be filed.
Hoberg said the task force is treating the case as a homicide, but has not ruled out other solutions, including the possibility Marie Blee died of a drug overdose and her body was disposed of by someone else.
The task force has found several people who may be considered suspects, according to Hoberg.
“We are looking into several suspects that hopefully in the next few weeks we will have the opportunity to sit down and talk with them,” said Hoberg.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Moffat County Sheriff’s Department or any law enforcement agency in Northwest Colorado.