CBI Cold Case Team Earns Prestigious Award

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04/12/2022—Members of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) received the extraordinary honor of being named one of the 2022 Tom Clements Better Government Award winners in March. 


The following members of the CBI were recognized for their outstanding work to help solve several Colorado cold cases in the last year, some dating back more than 40 years.

  • Investigative Analyst Simkins
  • Agent in Charge Lewis
  • Laboratory Manager Koning
  • Laboratory Manager Davis
  • Laboratory Manager Harmon
  • Forensic Scientist Woods
  • Forensic Scientist Hrenya-Wood

This innovative and dedicated team utilized cutting edge technology through Forensic Genetic Genealogy to shed new light on nearly a dozen cold cases that produced investigative leads that ultimately led to five cases being brought to trial. This compressive effort involved reviewing hundreds of case reports, conducting forensic testing, investigative follow-up, and coordinating with local law enforcement and district attorneys around the state. 


This program provides outstanding customer service to victims’ families and local law enforcement working to bring them closure and justice. It shows families that their loved ones have not been forgotten, and that Colorado continues to work to solve their cases even after many years have passed. The program also brings together the compassion, commitment, innovation and hard work focus of the team.
The CBI other award winners were recognized by Colorado Governor Jared Polis at a ceremony held on March 29, 2022.

From the Governor’s Office news release announcing the awards:

These awards honor Tom Clements, who was tragically killed in March of 2013 during his tenure of service to the state as Executive Director of the Department of Corrections. In honor of his legacy of improving state government, the Tom Clements Better Government Award recognizes the work of individuals and teams who, like Tom, enhance the performance and outcomes of state government. 


This prestigious award inspires teams to elevate the impact of their work and further cement Colorado's commitment to building a lasting culture of excellence. The award categories include: Outstanding Innovation in Government and the Outstanding Service in Government. In addition, the Chief of Staff Recognition for Operational Excellence was also awarded.


Award winners were nominated through their Departments and submissions were judged by a panel of nonprofit partners and business leaders in Colorado. Judges reviewed submissions to understand how data was used to drive outstanding service and innovation, and how an individual or group’s work aligns with the Administration’s goals.