THE COLD CASE FILES: Body found in alley, 1997

April 6, 2010
photo - Michael Dobbins Photo by
Michael Dobbins Photo by  

Each victim is a face frozen in time, haunting investigators whose job it is to bring their killers to justice decades after the trail has gone cold.

The Gazette in cooperation with the Colorado Springs Police Department runs a weekly feature called “The Cold Case Files.” The Colorado Springs Police Department Homicide Cold Case Unit is currently responsible for approximately 90 unsolved homicide cases dating back to 1949. CSPD considers a case to be cold if it remains unsolved for more than one year. If you have any information that would be of assistance in these investigations, please contact 719-444-7613, by e-mail at or you may remain anonymous and could earn a cash reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP (7867).

The Victim: Michael Dobbins, 54,  a former chef and amateur artist, who had moved to Colorado Springs from New York  to live near his daughter about a year before he was murdered.

File number: 97-39001

The Crime: Around 3 a.m. on Nov. 9, 1997, Colorado Springs police investigated a report of a man lying in an alley in the 1200 block of South Nevada Avenue north of the Economy Inn Motel. Officers found Dobbins’ body in the alley, and an autopsy determined that he had been stabbed several times in the torso.

The investigation: Dobbins had cooked in New York restaurants and was an accomplished painter, but had a drinking problem and may have been living in a camper near where his body was found, The Gazette reported in 1997. His daughter had last seen him on his birthday, five days before he died. Police sought out friends and acquaintances and checked guest registries at nearby motels in an effort to reconstruct Dobbins’ last days. No murder weapon was recovered, no motive was determined and no suspects have were named.

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