Michael Jefferson

Michael Shannel Jefferson was arrested on April 9, 2021, for the November 21, 1985 home invasion robbery and murder of 51-year-old Roger Dean in Lone Tree, Colorado.

Dean was murdered by a masked intruder who broke into his home and demanded money from his bank account. Dean’s wife heard a scuffle and several gun shots. Dean’s body was later found at the end of the driveway, and the suspect fled the area. The ski mask he had worn over his face was left at the scene. In 1990, Dean’s wife received several letters and cassette tapes telling her that he was Dean’s killer and demanding money from her. Police at the time thought that the writer included details of the crime that only the perpetrator was likely to know.

A DNA profile was eventually obtained from human hair found inside the ski mask, which marks the first time that an FGG case was solved using hair from a suspect in a criminal case. The FGG investigation was conducted by Michele Kennedy of Solved by DNA. The initial confirmation with the crime scene sample was made through a bottle that Jefferson had drunk from on an airplane and which he handed to a flight attendant.

Jefferson has been extradited to Douglas County, where he will face charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, and kidnapping. He lived in the area near the time of the murder. The statute of limitations has run out on charges of extortion.


Nicholson, Kieran. “Man Arrested in 1985 Cold Case Shooting Death in Lone Tree.” Denver Post, April 9, 2021. Accessed April 11, 2021. https://www.denverpost.com/2021/04/09/lone-tree-1985-cold-case-homicide-arrest/.

Osborne, Ryan. “Arrest Made in 1985 Killing of Douglas County Man.” The Denver Channel, April 9, 2021. Accessed April 11, 2021. https://www.denver7.com/news/crime/arrest-made-in-1985-killing-of-douglas-county-man.

Sylte, Allison. “How Investigators Used a Water Bottle Taken During a Flight to Make an Arrest in a 1985 Cold Case.” NBC 9 News. April 9, 2021. Accessed April 11, 2021. https://www.9news.com/article/news/crime/roger-dean-cold-case-murder-douglas-county/73-b7a71259-0fad-48e6-af92-e42f376915a9.


First Name Michael
Last Name Jefferson
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2021-04-09
IGG Org Solved by DNA


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1475 Roger Dean 51 1985-11-21 Lone Tree, CO Douglas CSO; Colorado BI Second degree murder Case is currently pending before the court Douglas CO DIS CT

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.