Slain Body of Jovita Collazo Found Decades Ago in a Desert Grave IDd in CA

Jul 10, 2015

The skeletal remains of Jovita Collazo found decades ago in a desert grave in California have at least been identified, officially closing her cold case and giving relatives some closure as well. 

The 38-year-old woman was reported missing but presumed slain 23 years ago, and her then-boyfriend Michael Richardson was eventually charged and sentenced in her disappearance and death too.

But the convicted murderer never revealed where he hid his dead paramour’s body; compelling police and family to search in vain for Jovita Collazo’s corpse since the early 1990s.

Ironically they had her remains the whole time. However, because DNA testing wasn’t available in 1994 when the skeleton of an “unidentified female” was found dumped in a shallow grave in Apple Valley, it took decades more to lay those bones to rest.

The break in the Jovita Collazo cold case actually came in 2010 when an auto wreck containing the bodies of Michael Richardson’s long missing wife and mother-in-law was accidentally discovered at the bottom of a steep ravine.

Career criminal Richardson was the prime suspect in the case and finally admitted he had strangled one of the woman and slit the throat of the other, then shoved their vehicle over a cliff to make it look as if they died in a crash.

In 2013 the self-confessed murderer and accused molester pled guilty not only to that double homicide but to killing and disposing of Collazo as well, and is now serving six life sentences for his brutal crimes.


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