On May 24, 1977 workers for Robinson Brick arrived at the entrance to the Chieftain Mine, immediately west of the Lakewood Motorcycle Park located at about 15000 West Alameda Parkway. Upon exiting the gate at about 6:40 am they discovered the body of John Nygaard. Nygaard was last seen leaving his apartment building at 1250 Lafayette Street on May 23, 1977 at about 9:00 pm in the company of an unknown male. Several witnesses described this man as being a white male, 25-35 years of age, 5’9 to 6’ tall, and composites were completed. Some witnesses believed he had a cowboy hat and moustache.
Nygaard had been a morning carrier for the Denver Post and had not shown up for work on the morning of May 24, 1977. He was from Iowa and had been in the Denver area for less than a year. Nygaard was a member of the Metropolitan Community Church.
Cold Case Investigator