NewsCovering Colorado


Convicted murderer sentenced in 1981 Cherry Hills cold case

Jail Cell
Posted at 4:58 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 21:50:56-04

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, CO — David Dwayne Anderson, 64 was just sentenced in a 41-year-old cold case of 34-year-old Sylvia Quayle who was murdered in her home in 1981.

Arapahoe County Judge Darren Vahle sentenced Anderson exactly 41 years after Sylvia's murder. Based on sentencing laws at the time of the murder, Anderson has received the maximum sentence, life behind bars with the possibility of parole after 20 calendar years.

On August 4, 1981, Quayle was found dead inside her Cherry hills home on the 3800 block of S. Ogden st in the Denver area.

Quayle had been shot in the head, repeatedly stabbed, and sexually assaulted.

“The brutality and randomness of this crime is every parent’s worst nightmare,” Deputy District Attorney Grant Grosgebauer said. “After he murdered Sylvia, he went on to live his life as if everything was normal. He got to experience marriage and kids. Sadly, Sylvia never got to experience those things.”

Anderson became a suspect in 2020 when the Cherry Hills Village Police Department began working with the company, United Data Connect. After providing two DNA samples from the decades-old crime were entered into two public databases Anderson became a lead suspect.

In 2021, an investigator with United Data Connect discretely obtained new DNA samples from Anderson's residence, and DNA from a soda can from Anderson's trash provided a match with the DNA at the crime scene.

After an initial mistrial in March of 2022, the 18th Judicial District Attorney's office took the case to trial on June 30th, 2022, and the jury returned a guilty verdict.

“Sylvia’s murder turned my family’s world upside down,” Jo Hamit, Sylvia’s sister said. “For the past 41 years, Sylvia missed out on family celebrations and numerous social occasions. Mr. Anderson has lived for the last four decades without giving his crime or my sister a second thought, while my family has suffered irreparable mental and emotional anguish during this time of uncertainty. I have found it necessary to forgive Mr. Anderson, but he needs to bear the consequences of his actions.”

“As decades passed, many people thought this case would remain unsolved forever,” District Attorney John Kellner said. “Advancements in science combined with the tenacity of investigators and prosecutors led to justice today.”

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