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Sheridan Police identify man found dead in 1988

Akram Bada'an, 36, was found dead on Aug. 27, 1988, in the 2800 block of West Oxford Avenue.

SHERIDAN, Colorado — Sheridan Police Department (SPD) announced Wednesday that they've identified a homicide victim who was found dead in 1988 but had been known as John Doe until now.

"The most important thing in this case, aside from giving the victim justice is giving the victim his name back," said SPD Detective Bryan Penry.

Akram Bada'an was 36 when he was found dead on Aug. 27, 1988, in the 2800 block of West Oxford Avenue. Using DNA and genetic genealogy investigators were able to trace his family to Israel.

"From there our detectives along with assistance from other agencies were able to identify Arkam and locate his family and positively identify him using DNA and other government records," said Penry.

Bada'an's homicide remains unsolved and Penry said his identification is just the first step in this active investigation.

Credit: Sheridan Police
Akram Bada'an was found dead in 1988 in Sheridan but until now had only been known as John Doe.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been involved in the case since 1989 but was asked by SPD to take another look at the case in 2020. That review found several items of evidence that had been preserved well enough to allow new DNA testing and fingerprint analysis, CBI analyst Audrey Simkins said.

"The results provided indicated that John Doe was of middle eastern descent," she said. "This was a huge break, for decades we had believed our John Doe was a Mexican national."

Watch the full news conference below:

Anyone with information about Bada'an or his killing is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000. 

"I want to speak directly to anybody who might be considering whether or not they have information about this case and they might be debating whether it's significant.," said Chris Wilcox with the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office. "I would encourage you to reach out to Crime Stoppers, report what you know, share the information you have because there is no way to know how the small of a tip you might have might direct the course of the investigation."

RELATED: Judge orders trial for 70 year-old suspect in 1982 Breckenridge double murder

Credit: Sheridan PD
Akram Bada’an

According to CBI's cold case database, SPD has two other unsolved homicide cases still open from the 1980s.

Charles "Tommy" Hutchins, 27, was found dead with a gunshot injury in an adult bookstore located at 2901 S. Santa Fe Dr. on July 5, 1986.  

William Davis, 39, was found dead in his vehicle in the parking lot of a local nightclub on March 15, 1988.

RELATED: Judge declares mistrial for man charged in 1984 Lakewood killing

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