The murder of Barbara “Bobbie Jo” Oberholtze is featured on this episode of Investigation Discovery’s On the Case with Paula Zahn.
It was a cold night on January 6, 1982, with temperatures dropping below -20 degrees when Oberholtzer was seen alone, hitchhiking out of Breckenridge, Colorado, after hanging out with her friends at a local bar.
It wasn’t unusual for the 29-year-old to hitchhike or for anyone in the community for that matter as it was a daily method of transportation. Since Breckenridge was a small town and most people knew each other, they thought it would be safe, but it was after Oberholtzer’s murder that they learned just how dangerous it can be.
While Oberholtzer was trying to get a ride to her home in Alma, she encountered someone who had no intention of taking her to her destination. She was found dead the following afternoon on an icy embankment near the summit of Hoosier Pass. She had been shot in the chest with a 38 or .357 handgun — the murder weapon has never been recovered.
That same day, investigators found her backpack, a blood-stained glove, her driver’s license, and tissue along U.S. Highway 285, about 20 miles from where Oberholtzer’s body was found.
Detectives were able to collect DNA from the glove and tissue, but they could not identify Oberholtzer’s killer. They were, in fact, able to determine that the person responsible for murdering Oberholtzer was a male, who may not have been from the Breckenridge area, but he knew it well.
On the Case with Paula Zahn — Rocky Mountain Mystery, airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.