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Reopened Investigation Leads to Suspect in 20-year-old Murder Case

Reopened Investigation Leads to Suspect in 20-year-old Murder Case

HESPERIA – After over 20 years of investigating, a 63-year-old El Mirage man was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Colette Rowles of Hesperia.

On January 3, 1997, Colette, who was 50 at the time was out with her boyfriend, Barry Bryant, and their friends, Paul and Sandra. The four were having an evening out at the “Buckeye Bar” in the City of Hesperia. The four left together in Paul’s pick-up truck and drove to Sandy’s Hesperia home. When interviewed, Bryant told authorities that he and Collette had gotten into an argument and she walked away from the home late at night.

Weeks later, on January 31, 1997, Colette’s remains were found on Highway 173, east of mile marker 173 in Summit Valley. An autopsy revealed that her cause of death was sharp force injuries. Without any further leads to follow, the case remained unsolved by the end of 1998, leaving the case cold.  In 2011, several follow-ups were conducted, but the case again went unsolved.

In 2017, the case was reopened, by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Homicide Cold Case Team. The investigation led detectives back to Bryant, who was interviewed on May 16, 2017. Bryant was arrested for the murder and booked into the West Valley Detention Center where he is being held in lieu of $1 million.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact Detective Ed DeLaTorre or Sergeant Greg Myler, Homicide Detail (909) 387-3589. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78CRIME (27463), or you may leave information on the We-Tip website at www.wetip.com

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Staff Writer

This article was written by a staff member of the 24/7 Headline News Organization

Image Sources:

  • Colette Rowles: SBCSO
Family Assistance Program