Beaten, strangled and left under a stairwell at a Memorial hospital, that’s how Jennifer Watkins died nearly 8 years ago. Her murder is still a mystery and her killer is still on the loose. We open this cold case file from November 1999.
Flipping through her photo album, Irene Skinner is flooded with memories of her only daughter. "Jennifer and I built a bond that nobody can break,” Skinner says. Watkins worked at Memorial Hospital delivering food to patients, going from floor to floor. "She was last seen on the 5th floor picking up trays," Detective Derek Graham with the Springs Police Homicide Unit says. Watkins was last seen on November 5th, 1999. Her body was discovered 3 days later under a staircase on the 8th floor of the hospital.
Watkins was a young mother, murdered just a few weeks before her 24th birthday. Her son, Michael, was 3 at the time and her daughter, Mariah, was just 11 months.
"There were a lot of construction workers in and out of hospital." Detective Graham says the hospital was getting renovated at the time. Back in 1999, cops questioned hundreds of Memorial employees, asking about Watkins, but now, the investigation has shifted. "Anybody that knew any construction workers at the hospital, contact us. There were a lot of people we were unable to identify at the time," says the detective.
Watkins’ mother hopes for some kind of closure. "It's not easy... just one day at a time," Skinner cries.
If you know what happened to Jennifer Watkins, call Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP in Colorado Springs. Remember, your anonymous tip could earn you a cash reward.