30-Year-Old Homicide Has Ties to Montana - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

30-Year-Old Homicide Has Ties to Montana

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VAUGHN -

Today is the 30th anniversary of the shooting death of 22-year-old University of Colorado student Sid Wells, a journalism student at the University of Colorado. Wells was shot once in the head. At the time of his death Wells was dating actor Robert Redford's daughter, Shauna.

The suspect in this case is a man named Thayne Smika, a roommate of Wells' in 1983. His sister, Tava Smika, currently lives in Vaughn, MT.

Smika was arrested for the homicide in 1983, however the DA at the time declined prosecution and Smika disappeared in 1986. He has not been seen since. In 2011, the Boulder County District Attorney's Office reviewed the case and approved an arrest affidavit for Smika.

Investigators believe Smika is living under an assumed identity and has been in contact with relatives in Colorado and Montana. The family of the suspect has not provided Boulder Police with any helpful information over the years.

Deputy Chief Dave Hayes, who was one of the first detectives to investigate the case, is hoping someone can provide information about Smika's whereabouts. "It's past time for justice for Sid Wells and his family," said Hayes. "Thayne Smika escaped a first degree murder charge, and has likely been living a life of freedom while the Wells family has been grieving for three decades."

Investigators are asking anyone with information on his location to contact them. Smika's original mug shot from 1983, and an age-progression photo of what he may look like today are included.

Detective Tom Dowd may be reached at 303-441-3385. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or 1-800-444-3776.

 

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