Centennial, CO

40 years later: 18th Judicial District jury convicts man of Cherry Hills murder

Heather Willard

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David Anderson18th Judicial District Attorney's Office

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / July 1, 2022

(Centennial, Colo.) An Arapahoe County jury found David Dwayne Anderson, 62, guilty of murdering and sexually assaulting Sylvia Quayle over four decades ago after DNA evidence opened new leads in the cold case.

On August 4, 1981, Quayle, 34, was found dead inside her Cherry Hills home on South Ogden Street. The coroner’s report revealed Quayle had been stabbed multiple times, shot in the head and sexually assaulted.

On Thursday, the jury found Anderson guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. Anderson also faced trial in March, but the jury did not return a verdict.

“For more than 40 years the defendant carried with him a dark secret, a secret that was finally revealed during this trial,” said Grant Grosgebauer, an 18th Judicial District deputy district attorney and one of the prosecutors on the case.

In 2000, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation submitted a DNA sample from the crime scene to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System. In 2020, the Cherry Hills Village Police Department began working with a genetic genealogy company, United Data Connect, which provided the police department with a possible lead after samples from the decades-old cold case were entered into two public DNA databases.

In 2021, an investigator with United Data Connect went to Anderson’s residence to obtain a new DNA sample and collected trash bags from an apartment complex dumpster. Lab results showed DNA on a soda can from Anderson’s trash matched DNA collected from the crime scene.

“We’re very grateful for the numerous investigators, analysts, and forensic scientists who, through the decades, refused to let the passage of time deter them in their quest for justice,” said Chris Gallo, chief deputy district attorney. “We certainly hope that this small measure of justice brings some degree of peace to Sylvia Quayle’s family, who has waited more than 40 years for this result.”

Anderson will be sentenced on Aug. 4. He faces life behind bars with the possibility of parole after 20 years.

“When we first started our Cold Case Unit in 2013, this is a case most people said would never be solved. But time and science march on, leading us to justice today,” said District Attorney John Kellner. “This verdict should give hope to all those who are still waiting for justice and for any killer who thinks they got away, know that we are still coming for you.”

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

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