April 02, 2022
The case of a woman who went missing thirty eight years ago may have been solved.
Beverly England was 32 years old when she went missing from her hometown of Salida in Colorado.
On the morning she disappeared, Beverly called up a friend, Kathy Smith. The two attended the Temple Baptist Church together and England asked Kathy if she would babysit her children for a couple of hours. Beverly England had two kids, Bricia, then 5, and Cayl, who was 8 years old at the time. Beverly informed Kathy that she planned to meet a woman called Mitzy Abeyta. It turned out that she had been having an affair with Mitzy Abeytas' husband and was planning to call it off. Abeytas was understandably unhappy about the whole affair and Kathy pleaded with her friend not go, but Beverly ignored the warnings.
The England kids usually played with Smith’s children, who were just a couple of years older, and it was perfectly normal for England to ask her friend to watch the kids now and again. Kathy kept an eye on the England children as they played in the nearby Alpine park, but when 4PM rolled around and Beverly still hadn’t picked up Bricia and Cayl, she contacted the children’s father, Dale England, who collected the kids before setting out to look for his missing wife.
Dale, who was a school teacher at the time, eventually discovered his wife’s car at Riverside Park- a local park popular with local families and couples who would go there to have picnics, hike and swim. Beverly was nowhere to be found and her handbag and shoes were found locked inside her vehicle. With no hope of finding his missing wife on his own, Dale filed an official missing persons report with the local police. Although he was initially a suspect in the case, he was later cleared. Dale England kept a low profile from that point onward and would go on to remarry years later.
Originally police believed that the missing 32 year old may have fallen into the nearby Arkansas River and drowned, as they were informed that she couldn’t swim. They waited two weeks for the body to resurface but it never did. A search of the river and surrounding area also turned up nothing.
When questioned about the case later in 2015, Mitzy Abeytas told investigators that she did indeed meet Beverly England on the day she went missing on June 12th 1980. She described getting into a “pushing match” with Beverly and claimed that she was attacked with a broken bottle and cut on the leg, which caused her to retreat and run from the scene. Various online reports detail that Mrs Abeytas did in fact have visible injuries around the time of England’s disappearance. She refused to take a polygraph test, would not talk with police and lawyered up.
Mitzy was pregnant at the time of the confrontation, and later told her auntie that England had threatened to murder both her and her unborn child. Mitzy's auntie also told police that Abeytas had blood on her clothes on the day England disappeared, as well as in her own vehicle which she asked her uncle to help clean. To most people reading, it may seem obvious who the culprit is, but according to this article, prosecutors simply did not have enough funds and evidence to convict a suspect.
Beverly’s children grew up and moved out of Salida. Bricia, who now has children of her own, pursued a career in counseling. She admitted to the “mountain mail” newspaper that she never found closure after her mother vanished back in 1980 and believes that she was murdered.
After serving in the marines Cayl became a police officer, a career choice that stemmed from the unsolved case of his missing mother. Both Bricia and Cayl provided DNA samples to the police with the hopes of identifying one of the many Colorado Jane Does as their missing mother, but heard nothing for years. Then, in 1992, police discovered human remains in a gorge at the foot of Mount Shavano. Hunters had called in the remains after accidentally stumbling upon them and realizing that they likely belonged to a human. The necessary technology needed to identify the skeletal remains was not available in the nineties and so the bones remained unidentified for around 2 decades and were, at one point even believed to be the bones a pioneer before they were retested in 2015.
In 2016 police spoke to the local media and confirmed that they had found a vehicle containing DNA, as well as other evidence that they believe was used in the crime. They were hopeful that they could solve the case and reopened the investigation.
Yesterday (October 1st, 2018) the case of missing Beverly England reappeared in the news once again- this time detailing an operation on and around Mount Shavano that lasted five days and turned up new evidence in the case.
Sheriff John Spezze of the Chaffee County police department told the media that human remains, as well as items believed to be connected with England's demise, have been uncovered. Damage to the remains indicates that she was likely murdered. The bones will undergo further testing.
The general online consensus is that Beverly England was murdered that day for her romantic involvement with Mitzy Abeytas’ husband, Steve, and that her body was disposed of in a ravine at the base of Mount Shavano. In a recent interview outside of the couple’s home, Steve Abeytas refused to answer a reporter’s question, asking if he believed Mitzy Abeytas had any involvement in the disappearance of England in 1980. “It’s old (the case) what you’re looking at” was all Steve Abeytas had to say.
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