DNA leads police to suspect in '76 slaying of Columbine High student

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By Adrienne Anderson

DNA samples from convicted felons have led police to a suspect in the 1976 slaying of 16-year-old Columbine High School student Holly Marie Andrews in Clear Creek County. 

Investigators with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office arrested a suspect Feb. 1 in connection with the 1976 slaying of Andrews. Andrews was found dead by two hikers on Dec. 27, 1976, near Bakerville. She was raped and had been stabbed six times in the back and slashed across the chest.

Ricky Lee Harnish, 52, was arrested early Friday and is in custody in Clear Creek County without bail. He is being charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping.

Judge Rachel Vasquez put a gag order on the case, forcing Clear Creek Sheriff Don Krueger to remain silent about details of the arrest and the case.

Andrews’ father and two of her brothers have been notified of the arrest.

"They are just ecstatic," said CBI Agent Mark Wilson. "They are very happy."

There are six other cold cases active in Clear Creek County.

"I hope we solve more," Krueger said. "That's what this is all about. It feels good. I'd love to say more."