Trigger: Mention of child's death.
A cold case is an unsolved case that remains open, waiting for new evidence to heat it back up again. The evidence could be in the form of a new witness, DNA evidence or an anonymous tip that changes everything. But until then, the victim's family is left wondering if justice will ever come to pass. It's an agonizing ordeal that no one should ever have to endure.
23 years after an infant was found in a reservoir, a Colorado woman has been arrested and charged for the baby's murder. Jennifer Katalinich (AKA Jennifer Tjornehoj) has been charged with first-degree murder and second-degree murder in the death of a dead baby known as Baby Faith. The name for this infant comes from individuals from the community where her tiny body was discovered all those years ago.
It all started back on August 24th, 1996 when two 11-year-old boys playing in the shores of the Horsetooth Reservoir in Larmier County, Colorado found the baby's body. Its umbilical cord was still attached to its body. Police arrived on the scene soon after to find the baby wrapped inside of a brown towel, and then put into a plastic trash bag. That bag was weighed down by rocks, presumably in a feeble attempt to keep it from rising to the surface. An autopsy would later determine that the cause of death was asphyxia and that Baby Faith had been born alive before being killed.
Investigators tried their best to solve the case, but it eventually grew cold due to a lack of leads. It was reopened later in 2006- about 10 years to the day of Baby Faith's discovery. The hope back then was that new tips would come in and new DNA technology could provide leads. But again, the case grew cold. This left police and citizens alike concerned that Baby Faith's killer would never be found.
Ten years later in November of 2016, investigators resubmitted DNA evidence to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for a second analysis. But it wasn't until July of 2019 when, according to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, the CBI discovered "five individuals with a probability of being related to Baby Faith". Four were deemed to be "most probable" to have information regarding Baby Faith's case.
On October 6th, investigators flew to Minnesota to interview three unnamed individuals- all of whom were cleared of any involvement with the murder. Once that was over, investigators flew to Maryland to speak with Katalinich, the fourth individual, on October 18th. After the interview ended, investigators issued a warrant for her arrest. As of right now, investigators haven't revealed whether or not she was related to Baby Faith in any way- but hopefully, we'll find out sooner than later.
Katalinich was booked into the Larimer County Jail just last week. However, she was released after posting her $25 000 USD bond and surrendering her passport to authorities. But for investigators, all they care about is enduring that Katalinich pays for her actions.
"At the end of the day, regardless of the outcome, when this case is finally adjudicated, Baby Faith will have two things she didn't have on Aug. 24th, 1996— that's a voice and a true identity," explained Robert Coleman, captain of Larimer County Sheriff's Office's Investigations Division.