Parachute man charged with 20-year-old murder in Wyoming |

Parachute man charged with 20-year-old murder in Wyoming

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) – Twenty years after he was first interviewed, a Colorado man has been charged with murder in the death of a Casper hospital worker.Investigators are interviewing Jeffrey Smith, 43, of Parachute, who is in the Garfield County Jail, Natrona County District Attorney Mike Blonigen said Wednesday in announcing the charges. Smith was charged with second-degree murder, which carries a penalty of 20 years to life in prison.Sheriff Mark Benton said he was pleased to see progress in the case.”You get a real strong feeling of accomplishment,” he said.Smith left Casper in 1989, and was being held in the Garfield County Jail Wednesday. He faces a vehicular assault charge and two failure to appear in court charges in Garfield County in addition to one failure to appear in court charge from the town of Parachute. Tammy Dively’s body was found about 12 miles south of Casper on April 28, 1986; she had been run over numerous times by a vehicle. The case remained unsolved until Natrona County investigators began reviewing it earlier this year and obtained DNA evidence that was not previously available.Blonigen said the DNA evidence “was a crucial part of this case.” An affidavit filed in the case said a DNA match to Smith was confirmed Monday.According to the affidavit, in 1986 Smith told police that he knew Dively but not very well. Interviewed again recently by Casper police, Smith denied knowing Dively, the affidavit said. Blonigen described them as “acquaintances.”Dively, who was 26 when she was killed, is survived by her mother and a daughter, the latter of whom is now 27. Blonigen did not identify the daughter, but said she had been notified of the developments in the case.”I think you can say she was very pleased that her mother hadn’t been forgotten and that something was happening. I think it was a very emotional thing for her,” Blonigen said.He said the daughter was a potential witness, although she was not present when her mother was killed.The Post Independent contributed to this report.

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