ALIE Foundation, Inc.
Since 1993
ALIE Foundation, Inc. is a 501 © (3) Non-Profit organization registered 
with the IRS.  EIN 84-1239912, Registration #20033002411

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"To serve with an unwavering heart."


"The Denver Post, May 23, 1993, 

Article by Patrick O'Driscoll, Ann Schrader, and Stacey Baca.



"DEER CREEK CANYON," Searchers found the 5-year-old girl's body stuffed inside a khaki duffel bag. It apparently was thrown by her abductor down a 20-foot embankment at a roadside turnout 4 miles up this steep, winding canyon from Denver's southwestern suburbs. "We found exactly what we didn't want to find," said Englewood police Sgt. Byron Wicks, who coordinated the search.



Late yesterday afternoon, two bloodhounds were combing the scene in an effort to pick up the killer's scent. Investigators were taking crime-scene photos and measurements, collecting soil samples and taking plaster casts of tire tracks.



But with little evidence and no clue as to who abducted the child, "if we're going to solve this, we're going to have to be real lucky or very creative," said Wicks.



Alie's body was taken to the Jefferson County coroner's office in Golden, where her mother, Marivel Berrelez, 24, identified her. An autopsy was performed, but no cause or estimated time of death was released.



The girl suffered from asthma and needed medication four times a day. 


Her body was found at 11:30 a.m., still dressed in the Oshkosh denim jumper she was wearing when she disappeared about 6:40 p.m. Tuesday in front of the Golden Nugget apartments, 200 W. Grand Ave. Family and friends mounted a frantic but fruitless door-to-door search of the neighborhood for tips and clues.



Yesterday, Alie's mother was in tearful seclusion with family in the second-floor apartment. Outside, Berrelez's father and Alie's grandfather, Richard Berrelez, told reporters his granddaughter was at peace, in heaven.  


"In a way, we haven't lost her because she's with the Lord. We feel better, but it's going to take a while to accept that she's gone," he said. "We feel better knowing that we don't have to worry anymore."



He added that although the search for Alie was over, "a new search has begun" for her killer, "and the person will be found.  


"It wasn't until a 31/2-year-old police bloodhound named Yogi was brought in that searchers got their first break in the case.



For about seven hours Friday, Yogi and his handler, Aurora Police K-9 officer Jerry Nichols, tracked the girl's scent about 10 miles from the apartment complex. They led searchers along C-470 almost to the mouth of Deer Creek Canyon, west of Chatfield Lake and south of the Martin Marietta complex.



When the hunt resumed about 7 a.m. yesterday, searchers decided to try Deer Creek Canyon Road, whose two-lane blacktop - lightly traveled on weekdays but popular with bicyclists on weekends - leads through the foothills to the Tiny Town children's amusement park.



"It was just a gut feeling on my part," said Dave Miller, chief of Englewood's police division, who remembered finding a homicide victim in the same canyon in 1969. "The area provides a dumping ground to a lot of stolen vehicles, too."



Wicks said members of the Arapahoe Rescue Patrol, a??search-and-rescue organization for teens, scoured both sides of Deer Creek, at times crawling on their hands and knees in the hunt for evidence.


Wicks said that when two team members came upon some creekside debris and trash, they noticed the duffel bag, two feet from the water's edge.  A Jefferson County sheriff's deputy untied the bag's knotted cord and found the girl's body. 


"It had been there for a while. We're not sure how long it was actually there, though," said Chris Olson, deputy director of Englewood's Department of Safety Services.



Authorities blocked off the stretch of canyon road between Deer Creek Mountain Park and Phillipsburg. During a brief afternoon rainshower, investigators threw a blue tarp over tire tracks in the sand-and-gravel turnout from which the girl's kidnapper apparently threw her bagged body.



"It was not like somebody put debris on it," said Wicks, explaining why police believe the kidnapper-killer threw the duffel bag down to the creek and didn't try to otherwise conceal it.


Yogi and a second bloodhound from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department were taken back to rocky, scrub-brushy canyon at 5 p.m. yesterday to sniff for clues to the killer in an incongruously idyllic scene of newly leafed aspens, rushing Deer Creek and emerging wildflowers.



Englewood police spokesman Tim Mitchell said the duffel bag could prove useful to the case because it could contain fibers, hairs and other minute evidence. He also said that if the abductor is what medical experts refer to as a "secreter," they also could find out the person's blood type from sweat on the bag.



"I think there's a pretty good chance we can find somebody," said Mitchell.


Family and friends had kept a hopeful vigil at the Englewood police station and at the apartment complex where last Tuesday evening, Alie had been sitting with her brother Benjamin, 11/2, after having a pizza dinner with a neighbor and her children.



The girl vanished during the few moments that the neighbor, Vanessa Johnson, went back inside her apartment to put away the leftovers.


Yesterday, the dashed hopes gave way to anguish outside the family's apartment.


A friend of the girl's mother had just returned from handing out information fliers about Alie at shopping malls in Northglenn and Thornton.



"She looked great this morning. She thought she was going to find her daughter," the friend said, just as an Englewood police car pulled up to the curb.


Out stepped Marivel Berrelez, back from the sad task of identifying her daughter's body. Berrelez's brothers embraced her and they all dashed inside the apartment building.


A few minutes later, Rene Maddux, sister of Charlie Berry, the boyfriend of Alie's mother, came outside and sat on the grass, sobbing uncontrollably.



"Why did this have to happen to her? She was a good girl. She never did anything wrong. Why did they have to kill her," Maddux wailed.


"She was only 5. She had a chance at life. I don't want anyone else to suffer like this," Maddux said a little while later.


From an open window above came the sound of more weeping as the family of Alie Berrelez grieved. 


"The Denver Post, May 23, 1993, 

Article by Patrick O'Driscoll, Ann Schrader, and Stacey Baca.

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