The cold case murder of David Chase - Evergreen, Colorado - June 6, 1995

On June 6, 1995, David Chase and his neighbor Matt Orahoske set out to finish a roofing job and clean the local moose club's brush. David was a 42-year-old cabinetmaker and craftsman, and Matt was a local handyman, and they sometimes did odd jobs together. By lunchtime the work was done and time to get something to eat. After the two had eaten, they went to the bank so that David could cash an $1,800 check that had been paid as an advance for a job yet to be completed. With the money in his pocket, David and Matt left for a local bar called On the Rocks.

However, David was gone for a very long time, and his wife Judi started to worry. She had asked David in advance not to go out with Matt because he would be known for his bad drinking and getting into fights with people. Her husband went out but promised that this would be his last job with his neighbor. However, when he was still not home the next morning, she decided to go to Matt's house.

David went missing
When Judi arrived at Matt's house, she was told that he had left her husband at the bar and gone home. However, Judy received a call from Matt's girlfriend later that morning. She said she talked to Matt and he told her that David owned a raft and had gone swimming in The Bear Creek River, which ran right next to the On the Rocks bar. Judy thought this made no sense since the river was covered in snow at that time of year. According to her, David would never undertake such a dangerous thing. Because Judi did not believe and trusted the story, she went to the police.

Police Investigation
The police questioned Matt, but were told the same story his girlfriend had told Judi. According to him, he and David had been drinking all day and had visited several bars. Matt stated that together they unloaded the scrub into the river to the last bar, presumably at On The Rocks. David then allegedly jumped into the river and told Matt to pick him up in Morrisson. Matt never saw David again after that, he said. Judi didn't believe the story, if only because, according to her, her husband was very "fanatical" about keeping the wilderness pristine. She couldn't imagine him dumping brushwood into the water.

The search for David was severely hampered by extreme weather and flooding in the weeks following his disappearance. His family, wife Judi and the twins the couple was about to adopt were deeply concerned about his well-being. Although they probably feared the worst, they did not give up.

Body Found
Until July 24, when a Gates property caretaker found David Chase's decomposing body in the creek, where it lay among some low trees 3 miles downstream. After the body was subjected to an autopsy, it was determined that his cause of death was "consistent with drowning." And although Matt suggested David had been drinking a lot that day, a blood test disproved that theory. According to the report, the victim had not been drinking at the time of his death. A notable detail was that David had broken his neck and had unusual cuts on his legs. When he was found, he was only wearing his socks and shoes, and part of his trouser leg. According to the investigation, there was evidence that his clothing had been ripped from his body.

New Interrogation POI

The police decided to subject Matt to interrogation again. He made himself extra suspicious when he changed two details in his story compared to the first version. Now he said they left the bar together, and drove down the street to dump the job's undergrowth into the river. This time Matt said David had fallen into the river instead of jumping. That made it a whole different story. After that, instead of going for help, Matt had just gone home. This while he could easily have called for help at a fifty feet away fire station, or at the bar that was a few feet away.

Judi later learned from Matt's girlfriend that she had found $800 in cash in the glove compartment of his car. Was that part of David's ATM money?...  Although Matt's statements lacked credibility, the police were unable to close the case. Don Olin, a homicide detective, did ask for a warrant for Matt's arrest, charging him with murder and negligence. However, the district attorney's office did not agree with his plea and declined to prosecute him.

Private Investigator
Judi could not accept that the case would not be solved and hired a private investigator, Phil Harris. She did so after he contacted her when he reportedly woke up to the sound of a voice in his head that he identified as David's. The voice would have said his name was David Chase, that he had been murdered, and that he wanted Phil to investigate his murder. Judi, who was skeptical at first, welcomed the investigation after he told of things he couldn't know. Things about David and her together, their love for each other, pet names, etc.

Phil claimed that he began to hear David's voice more and more, and that he wrote down the things he said. According to the voice, Matt had convinced David to buy his truck, in connection with a project David was working on, but David had doubts about the purchase when they left the bar together. However, Matt thought that his companion had already promised him the money, and the atmosphere changed when an argument broke out. The heated exchange, according to the voice Phil said he heard, led to David being hit by Matt with a blunt object, breaking his neck.

According to Phil, Matt then had help from an accomplice to get rid of the body and the bloody clothing. This could explain the torn clothes on the body that was found later. After the couple threw David's body into the river, they allegedly dumped the murder weapon and clothes in a reservoir somewhere. A week after Phil showed her a place he believed to be where the stuff was dumped, the detective suffered a heart attack and died. As a result, the case came to a halt again.

Secret organisations
In the years since her husband's murder, Judi has come to believe in yet another theory. She now thinks there is a connection between the murder and the custody case of their former foster children. Before the crime, the couple was creating a shelter for children of drug addicts. The couple was also in the process of adopting twins who had been living with them for some time. In her investigation, Judi said she suspected a large pedophile network and a child trafficking organization in the murder of not only David, but also private investigator Phil. According to her, they would also be the reason that the twins were taken away from her, and why she never heard from them again. Despite Judi coming up with detailed theories, to date there is no evidence for her claims.

Information and Tips
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