The police in Westminster, Colorado, announced this week that they have solved a 50-year-old murder case and finally identified the killer of Teree Becker as Thomas Martin Elliott.
On the same day, Wednesday, the cops in Las Vegas announced that Elliott was also responsible for the murder of Sherrie Bridgewater in 1991.
The 20-year-old Becker was last seen on December 4, 1975, as she hitchhiked to the Adams County Jail in Brighton, Colorado, to see her imprisoned boyfriend.
Unfortunately, her remains were discovered a couple of days later by some bikers in a field in Westminster. She had been raped and asphyxiated.
The Westminster PD has regularly examined the case and was aided by developments in DNA forensic science. In 2003, they were able to extract the DNA of the killer, but unfortunately, the DNA wasn’t in any database.
In 2013, the Las Vegas Police Department (LVMPD) contacted the Westminster PD, informing them that the same DNA had come up in one of their cold cases.
Thomas Elliott also guilty of murder of Sherrie Bridgewater in Las Vegas
Sherrie Bridgewater was murdered in a Las Vegas apartment in May 1991. The 30-year-old was sexually assaulted and strangled, just like Becker. The cops knew it was the same killer, but they still didn’t have an identity.Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel
In 2018, the Westminster PD decided to submit the killer’s DNA to Genetic Genealogy analysis. This allowed the investigators to identify relatives of the killer, thereby significantly reducing the number of suspects.
Elliott had been adopted by his stepfather when he was a child and had taken his name, which complicated and slowed the search. However, the police are now sure that Thomas Elliott was the killer.
Westminster PD said in a statement, “We are thrilled we were able to solve this cold case and hopefully bring closure to the friends and family of Teree Becker.”
Who was Thomas Martin Elliott? Killer of Teree Becker and Sherrie Bridgewater
Unfortunately, Elliott will not be appearing in a courtroom as he committed suicide in October 1991, just five months after he killed Bridgewater. He was 40 years old.
Elliott was a career criminal who spent a large portion of his adult life behind bars. He committed a burglary in Lakewood, CO, shortly before killing Becker, and he was sentenced to six years for that crime.
He was released in 1981 and then committed a crime against a child in Las Vegas, for which he was given a ten-year sentence. He was released in 1991 when he then murdered Bridgewater before killing himself.
Elliott is buried in the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery due to a short stint in the military. His body was exhumed in October 2023 to confirm he was the killer.