A follow up to a cold case we featured in a special report this month.
Andy Elam was killed over 25 years ago on a popular hiking trail.
Since Andy’s murder, his father hasn’t been able to go back to the hiking trails their family used to enjoy almost every weekend, but after our story, it was time to go back.
“A lot of years,” said Andy’s father Billy Dean.
A memorial to Andy Elam now marks the trail head for this portion of the Pacific Crest Trail.
“This is really nice that it’s here, in some way he is still here in the world,” said Dean.
Dean saw it when it first went up 25 years ago. This is his first visit since.
“That was too soon after, that was very weird, we didn’t hike at all we just got back into the car and left, this is wow,” said Dean.
Andy was just 19 when his family came to spend the day running on these trails.
“Boy if he was going to do it, he really wanted to do it really well, he didn’t want to goof around. He was a good guy, the world lost one of the good guys,” said Dean.
The morning of June 17th, 1989, Andy went back to the car by himself as planned, but was never seen alive again.
“Sometimes it’s like a million years ago you know, and sometimes it’s just yesterday or two hours ago, it’s a funny feeling,” said Dead.
Detectives believe Andy may have interrupted somebody breaking into the family car and paid for it with his life. Who that somebody is has remained a mystery for over 25 years.
“It’s one of the sad things in my life is his mom died without getting that closure,” said Dean.
Cold case detective Lester Harvey is working on giving Dean that closure. He’s combing through evidence and using advances in forensic technology to find Andy’s killer.
“When I got the call from Detective Harvey, I though wow I thought it was a cold case, it is but now it’s warm, it’s a very odd feeling,” said Dean. “He made me feel better about bringing it all back again, it’s not over until it’s over you know.”
In the meantime Dean has come back to where it all began.
“We are going to take a little hike here, I got my pepper spray just cause that is the mind set that I got about this place, you know. Something went really bad, wrong here. Some guy came in here and changed everything forever for all of us,” said Dean.