Commerce City Police Resolve 1996 Cold Case Homicide
Detectives uncover fate of long-known suspect who fled to Mexico
COMMERCE CITY, COLO. (December 20, 2018) – More than 22 years after the murder of Michael Jajdelski, Commerce City police detectives have tracked down the location and ultimate fate of his suspected killer. Following leads and coordinating with multiple agencies over the past two-plus decades, police resolved the case by positively identifying the suspect as a man who was himself murdered in Juárez, Mexico in 2010.
“We hope the resolution of this case provides a sense of closure for Mr. Jajdelski’s loved ones, who have waited a long time for answers,” said Commerce City Chief of Police Clint Nichols. “We’re very proud of the tireless efforts of the many detectives and officers who worked this case through the years. Their continuous pursuit of justice exemplifies the mission of our department.”
Following a reported disturbance outside a bar early on the morning of September 30, 1996, Michael Jajdelski, 35, was found stabbed to death in Los Valientes Park. Within days, Commerce City police identified the suspect as Jerime Galvan and the Adam’s County District Attorney issued a warrant for his arrest on a charge of first-degree murder. During the investigation, officers determined that Galvan had likely fled to Mexico.
As the fugitive investigation continued over the following years, sparse clues periodically came to light about Galvan’s potential whereabouts in Mexico. In 2017, detectives learned that he had served time in a Mexican prison in roughly 2006-2007 under the assumed name of José Benito Hernandez Leal.
With assistance from the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, FBI and ATF, Commerce City police discovered a new lead related to an unidentified body recovered in Juárez on July 20, 2010. Detectives then recently used fingerprints and tattoos to positively identify the body as that of known fugitive Jerime Galvan. Family members of the victim, Michael Jajdelski, have since been notified of this development.