Gruesome murder of Colorado woman stuffed into box focus of national true-crime episode

Colorado cold case spanned decades and counties

AURORA, Colo. – A nationally televised true-crime program will broadcast new details surrounding a gruesome Aurora 2005 cold case, that uncovered the body of a woman who was murdered and packed into a Rubbermaid container.

“I knew something happened to her,” Victoria Baker said of the mom she had never known. “I really didn't want to think about what that something was.”

In Sunday’s “On the Case with Paula Zahn,” Zahn will detail the story of Carolyn Jansen’s disturbing disappearance and death — one that spanned two Colorado counties — from Baker’s perspective.

Baker was given up for adoption and simply started out on a search for her birth mother.

“I knew that it might end poorly,” she told Zahn.

However, Baker couldn't imagine her search would end as tragically as it did.

A private investigator first told Baker her mother was listed as a 2003 missing person. In 2005, Jansen’s body was finally found at an Aurora home.

In a 911 call, a man is heard explaining to police, “I was just moving some stuff and one of the boxes has a female body.”

Our partners at the Denver Post reported a man named Richard Johnson owned the home where Jansen’s body was found.

Johnson was the former roommate of the man who would later be sentenced in Jansen’s murder — Jon Harrington.

As reported in the Denver Post, Johnson allowed Harrington to keep his belongings at his Aurora home.

On June 28, 2005, while Johnson was moving Harrington’s belongings into a locked storage shed, he lifted other boxes off the container and noticed it was emitting a foul odor.

In Sunday’s special, Jansen’s body was described as being "skeletonized" inside that Rubbermaid container.

The details surrounding how she was found are disturbing. Jansen was murdered, then wrapped in a blanket, packed in the container, and that container was secured with duct tape.

Her body went unnoticed for years.

It wasn't until 2014 that DNA linked Jansen’s co-worker and roommate, Harrington, as her killer. He was sentenced in 2015.

Sunday’s “On the Case with Paula Zahn” episode revisits the reunion that never happened, and the search for answers that turned into horror.

Harrington could be up for parole in 2025.

The special airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on the true-crime network Investigation Discovery. Channels will vary, depending on your cable provider.

You can watch the preview here.

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