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Arrest made in 1982 deaths of two young women in Colorado

Annette Schnee Bobbie Jo Oberholtzer
Posted at 7:04 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 22:04:23-05

DENVER — A Colorado man is in custody in the 1982 deaths of two young women near Breckenridge.

Alan Lee Phillips, 70, of Dumont, was arrested for investigation on murder charges in the killings of Annette Schnee, 21, and Barbara "Bobbi Jo" Oberholtzer, 29, who went missing Jan. 6, 1982.

Court records said Phillips also faces charges of kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon in each case.

The offense date on Phillips' case matches the date Schnee and Oberholtzer went missing, and the Park County Combined Court confirmed that Schnee and Oberholtzer are listed as the victims.

A source close to the investigation also confirmed that an arrest had been made in the case.

Arrest-only charges were filed in the case on Feb. 24, and Phillips remains in custody at the Park County Jail, according to jail records. He is expected to be formally charged on March 8.

More information about how investigators were led to Phillips was not yet available Tuesday. Colorado Bureau of Investigation records showed that Phillips was previously arrested on burglary and assault charges in 1973, though the cases were purged in 2002. More information about Phillips was not yet available Tuesday.

Annette Schnee Bobbie Jo Oberholtzer

Crime

A Colorado cold case and the chase for closure

Ryan Osborne
8:42 AM, Jul 10, 2020

Phillips' arrest marks one step toward closure for the families of Oberholtzer and Schnee, 39 years after they died.

The two women had no apparent connection to each other, but both worked in Breckenridge and were believed to be hitchhiking home when they disappeared.

Oberholtzer and family found her body the next afternoon, in a snow drift on Hoosier Pass, south of Breckenridge. Annette remained missing for the next six months, until a young boy found her body, fully clothed, in a creek further south, near Fairplay.

Both women were shot to death.

In the investigation, leads faded and after about 18 months, the case went cold.

Private investigator Charlie McCormick began working the case in 1989.

McCormick last year held out hope that a killer might eventually come forward, or that there might be a breakthrough from the DNA collected from the crime scene.

"I have no problem working it to the bitter end," McCormick said last year. "You can't walk away from it, or I can't. Haven't wanted to. Tomorrow's another day, and you got stuff to do, and you see what might happen."

Eileen Franklin, Schnee’s mother, also was holding onto hope.

“I’ve been waiting,” Franklin, 87, said last summer, “but my time is running out.”

This article was written by Ryan Osborne for KMGH.