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District Attorney - News

Posted on: August 10, 2018

Arrest Warrants Issued in 34-Year-Old Cold Case Homicides

(Aurora, CO - August 10, 2018) At a joint news conference today in Aurora, criminal justice and law enforcement offi-cials announced that arrest warrants have been issued in two 34-year-old cold case homicides in the metro Denver area.

George Brauchler, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District and Peter Weir, District Attorney for the 1st Judicial District, announced that arrest warrants, out of each of their jurisdictions, have been issued for Alexander Christopher Ewing, DOB: 8-14-60. Ewing is currently in the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections.

According to the arrest affidavits, on January 10, 1984 50-year-old Patricia Smith was found murdered in her home in Lakewood. Six days later, on January 16, Bruce Bennett, his wife Debra, and their seven-year-old daughter were found murdered at their home in Aurora. Their three-year-old daughter was severely injured, but survived. Both of the chil-dren had been sexually assaulted.

The investigation into these homicides has remained open, but both cases have been considered cold cases for over 30 years. While investigators recognized the similarities in the cases from the beginning, technology was limited. It was not until 2010 that, through the use of DNA, an official link was established between the two cases.

On July 11, 2018 investigators with the Aurora and Lakewood Police Departments received information from the Colo-rado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding their respective investigations which led to arrest warrants being filed on August 10, 2018.

In Arapahoe County, a John Doe warrant was filed in 2002 charging a person with a specific genetic profile with com-mitting the Bennett family homicides. The arrest warrant and charging documents have been amended to reflect the name Alexander Christopher Ewing. He has been charged with three counts of First Degree Murder - after Deliberation; three counts of Felony Murder; Attempted First Degree Murder; two counts First Degree Sexual Assault; First Degree Assault; two counts Sexual Assault on a Child; one count First Degree Burglary; and five Violent Crime counts.

In Jefferson County, an arrest warrant has been issued for Mr. Ewing for the charges of First Degree Murder - after De-liberation; three counts of Felony Murder; and two Violent Crime Counts for the murder of Patricia Smith.

The Bennett homicides have been filed in the Arapahoe County District Court and the Smith homicide has been filed into the Jefferson County District Court.

The extradition process to return Mr. Ewing to Colorado from Nevada has begun. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Photos of Mr. Ewing from the early 1980’s is being provided. If members of the public were acquainted with Mr. Ewing, or had contact with him, between 1983-1984, please contact the Aurora Police Department at 303-739-6400 or the Lakewood Police Department at 303-763-6800.

Early 1980’s

Early 1980’s195 Nevada Department of Corrections

The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime(s). A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. See Colo. RPC 3.6.

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