A day before her body was found, the teenager was last seen getting into a stranger’s car after she left her mother’s home in Littleton, Colorado to walk to a friend’s home. This was in 1976.
She had been raped, stabbed in the chest and back several times. Semen was collected from her lifeless body and stored, but the case was not solved due to lack of technological advancement.
Years after her death, a man named, Henry Lee Lucas, confessed to killing Holly, as well as about 3,000 other murders, but Colorado investigators were not convinced about his involvement in the death of the teen girl.
It wasn’t until 2005 when Ricky Lee Harnish, a husband and father, leading a supposedly responsible life was arrested for selling meth and his DNA was taken, that it was discovered that it matched with the sample found on Holly’s body years earlier.
Harnish was finally arrested for the murder of Holly in 2008. He pleaded guilty to the murder of the teenager years ago and negotiated a plea with the prosecutors in exchange for information about the murder. He was sentenced to twenty-four years in prison that year but will be up for parole in 2018 after serving only ten years.
Holly’s father, Jerry Andrews, expressed his displeasure at the possibility of an early release, saying, “Ricky Lee Harnish should die in jail.”