Real Name: Alesandra Berrelez
Location: Englewood, Colorado
Date: May 23, 1993
Details: On May 18, 1993, Alie Berrelez was playing with her brother in front of her home in the Englewood suburb of Denver when she vanished after her babysitter went inside. Police believed that Alie had been abducted and a bloodhound named Yogi traced her scent out of town to a ravine near Deer Creek Mountain Park where Alie’s body was found stuffed into a khaki duffel bag and tossed off a 20-foot embankment.
Suspects: None known, but the bloodhound tracked the killer’s scent back to an empty apartment back at Allie’s apartment building. Nicholas Stofer was questioned as a suspect, but he was eventually cleared. Police believe that the killer either lived in the apartment complex or the killer had visited someone who lived in the complex.
Extra Notes: This case was featured as part of the remarkble tracking abilities of bloodhounds: the airdate is November 10, 1995.
Thie case was also featured on Vanished with Beth Holloway.
Results: Solved. Investigators taking a new look at the unsolved 1993 kidnapping and murder of 5-year-old Alie Berrelez matched a DNA sample to neighbor Nick Stofer, ending a saga for the little girl's family. As advancements in technology emerged, evidence gathered in the case has been re-submitted for additional testing and comparison, police said. On Feb. 8, 2011, several items of evidence were submitted to the CBI for new DNA testing. A CBI agent developed a complete DNA profile from an area of Alie’s underwear and from the waistband of her underwear. That DNA profile matched the DNA profile of Stofer. "We had to wait 18 years for forensic science to catch up to the evidence we had on hand," said Englewood police Chief John Collins, announcing the end to the Berrelez case on Tuesday. "It was unequivocally his DNA in her underwear and it had no business being there." At the time of the abduction, Stofer lived in the Englewood apartment complex where Alie lived with her mother and two brothers. He had been there for three weeks prior to the abduction and abruptly moved to California just five days after Alie’s abduction and murder. He made the reservations for his flight on the morning of May 18, the day Alie disappeared. Nicholas Randolph Stofer was a focus of the investigtion within days when her 3 year old brother told the police "the old man" took her and then took them to Nick Stopher's apartment and said that was where "the old man" lived. Detectives traveled to Redlands, Calif. to take blood and hair samples from Stofer. However, DNA testing did not exist at that time. Detectives learned during the investigation that as a teenager Stofer frequently partied in Deer Creek Canyon. A friend who helped Stofer move into the Englewood apartment where he lived said that Stofer had in his possession a green military style canvas bag similar to the one Alie was found in. Stofer denied ever having such a bag. Stofer was a welder, and police said they found metal shavings in the duffel bag in which Alie's body was found. Stofer had also once expressed a fantasy about abducting a small girl, police said. Carpet fiber found on Alie’s blouse matched the carpet in Stofer's apartment and did not match any other carpet in the apartment complex, police said. Over the years, the investigation into Alie’s abduction and murder continued. Stofer remained a person of interest and a suspect but police could not arrest him because there wasn't enough evidence. On Oct 7, 2001, Stofer was found dead inside his Phoenix apartment of an apparent drug overdose. Police were called to Stofer's home on a welfare check after his family had not heard from him in some time. When Stofer's body was discovered, he had been dead for two days.