Wesley Backman

Wesley Backman has been identified as the lead suspect in the1996 rape and murder of 25-year-old Tangie Sims in Aurora, Colorado. Sims’ body was found on October 24, 1996, in an alleyway. She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed to death. Her killer had cut himself during the attack and a DNA profile was produced from blood collected at the crime scene.

This case was investigated by the Aurora Police Department, with the FGG work carried out by United Data Connect. United Data Connect was founded by former Denver DA Mitch Morrissey and specializes in FGG investigations. The initial confirmation was made with the assistance of a living close relative of Backman.

This case was cleared by exception due to the death of Backman in 2008. He had been a long-haul truck driver whose routes took him near the area where Sims’ body was found.


CBS 4 News. “1996 Cold Case Murder of Tangie Sims, Solved, Wesley Backman Named Suspect.” CBS Local News Denver, January 15, 2020. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://denver.cbslocal.com/2020/01/15/tangie-sims-aurora-wesley-backman-cold-case-murder/.

Oravetz, Janet. “DNA From Relative Helped Identify Man Suspected in 1996 Aurora Murder.” NBC 9 News, January 15, 2020. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://www.9news.com/article/news/crime/dna-relatives-solves-1996-aurora-homicide-case/73-5bd01ffe-fbec-43f2-8f2d-868fb2e14984.

Osborne, Ryan. “Genealogy Helps Crack Aurora Cold Case Murder From 1996, Police Say.” Denver Channel, January 15, 2020, last modified January 16, 2020. Accessed December 10, 2020. https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/genealogy-helps-crack-aurora-cold-case-murder-from-1996-police-say.


First Name Wesley
Last Name Backman
Other Names
Victims 1 (Details)
IGG Started 2019-00-00
Case Cleared 2020-01-15
IGG Org United Data Connect


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1322 Tangie Sims 25 1996-10-24 Aurora, CO Aurora PD Second degree murder Case was cleared by exception due to death of perpetrator n/a

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.