MORGAN COUNTY, Colo. – Law enforcement authorities are hoping there may still be people with information about a 25-year-old cold case murder that remains unsolved despite many leads in the case.
William E. “Billy” Trimbach was 26 years old when his body was found alongside the I-76 frontage road west of Wiggins on Valentine’s Day 1993. He’d been shot to death, and his body was drug out of a vehicle onto the roadside.
At the time, Trimbach was living on Highway 14 west of Stoneham in the far northeastern part of Weld County. He was living with his wife, Cindy, an infant daughter and a 9-year-old step son, according to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.
The two had moved from Nevada about a year before Trimbach’s death.
Trimbach was reported missing the morning his body was found. Cindy and her son told investigators at the time they hadn’t seen Trimbach since the morning before, and that they called authorities when he wasn’t home Sunday morning.
But upon further investigation, detectives found Trimbach wasn’t killed where his body was dumped, and that his wife said she had been driving in the area the night before searching for her husband, despite the location being about 45 miles from their home.
Detectives also found small amounts of dried blood that belonged to Trimbach inside of his wife’s vehicle, and the 9mm handgun Trimbach owned was missing. He was found with 9mm wounds.
The investigators also found that Cindy had taken out a life insurance policy on Trimbach’s life shortly before he was killed, and that his name had been forged on the application, the sheriff’s office said.
Despite the circumstantial evidence, investigators weren’t able to directly link Cindy to her husband’s murder. She and some of her family members moved to Butte, Montana shortly after Trimbach’s funeral.
There, Cindy’s son, who was either 10 or 11 at the time, shot and killed a fellow student at a playground at his elementary school. Cindy had told school officials that the boy had witnessed Trimbach’s murder when she enrolled him in school.
The boy was put into psychiatric care because he was too young to be charged. But later, he told investigators he’d lied about seeing Trimbach leave with a man the day before his body was discovered.
“He said he lied because he thought his mother was involved in Billy’s disappearance and never saw him on Saturday,” the sheriff’s office said.
Cindy died of AIDS complications in 1994 as well, after which detectives continued investigating.
Among the new information they discovered was that Trimbach may have been accidentally killed during someone’s attempt to intimidate him, according to the sheriff’s office, that at least two people may have witnessed his shooting, and that Cindy may have arranged for hit-men to kill her husband so she could collect the insurance money. The sheriff’s office said it believes she may have also helped dump her husband’s body.
One of the suspects had been asked by police to give an interview, but after his attorney declined, the suspect committed suicide.
Since then, investigators haven’t been able to forward any charges to the district attorney’s office in the case.
“Investigators have been hampered in this case due to some of the bizarre circumstances in this case, lack of evidence, plus, many people involved were/are methamphetamine users and their information was either discredited by others or could not otherwise be corroborated,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
The office said it believes there are people “who have direct knowledge of this case” and is asking them to come forward in order to “clearly” identify possible suspects.
It also issued statements from Trimbach’s mother urging people to help find their loved one’s killer.
“What I wouldn’t give for just one more day, one more smile, one more hug, one more I love you…I will never get over the loss of my brother, but having answers would definitely help bring closure,” his sister said in a statement provided by the sheriff’s office.
More information about Billy can be found here. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office at 970-867-2461 and ask for the on-call investigator, or to call Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
"Twenty-five years for persons responsible for a murder, to continue to roam this earth, possibly victimizing others, is a travesty," the sheriff's office said. "Please give Billy's family the answers and closure they so deserve."