HIDING HOLMES UPDATE: Aurora theater shooter transferred to Pennsylvania prison

Published: Sep. 27, 2017 at 8:47 PM MDT
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Where is James Holmes? For more than a year, survivors of the Aurora theater shooting demanded to know.

"This is a clear victims' rights issue," said Tom Sullivan in an interview with reporter Katie Pelton last year. Sullivan's son, Alex, was gunned down by Holmes on his 27th birthday.

"We should be able to know, you know, where he is."

Early Thursday morning, the answer was finally revealed. Holmes is serving his life sentence in a federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, about a three-hour drive northwest of Philadelphia.

It's been a long time coming for victims, who have pleaded for this information.

"That is the epitome of the boogeyman," Sullivan told Pelton last year. "To people who are woken up at night, you know, in a cold sweat from having a nightmare ... it would be nice for a spouse, a parent to be able to tell that person, ‘No he’s, you know,' and give them a specific place."

Holmes was sentenced in 2015 for the 2012 shooting, which left 12 dead and more than 70 hurt. After initially serving his time in Colorado, he was secretly moved in January 2016 after he was attacked in prison. The DOC wouldn't say where, citing the Interstate Compact Agreement (ICA), where states trade certain prisoners due to safety concerns or other reasons.

A spokeswoman for the DOC told 11 News the agreement was in place to protect staff members, offenders, and to maintain the safety and security of the state of Colorado.

But the victims said Holmes' safety was coming at the expense of their own.

Finally nearly two years later, a small comfort for those victims: knowing where the mass killer is.

The Colorado Department of Corrections released the following statement to 11 News prior to the release of Holmes' location:

The Colorado Department of Corrections confirms that inmate James Holmes has been transferred to a federal prison. The State sought to place the inmate in the Federal System several months ago, but placement required finding space at a facility that could provide appropriate security. That space recently became available and the move to the Federal prison was secured.

For our original "Hiding Holmes" report last year,