In August 2006, teenage mother Candace Hiltz was gunned down in the trailer where she and her family had been living in Fremont County, Colorado. The heinous nature of the murder shook the entire country, and authorities were forced to overcome a number of obstacles, including one quite close to their own turf. However, despite the fact that the investigation has been going on for a decade, it has been unsuccessful in locating the perpetrator or perpetrators of the crime. Authorities believe Candace’s killer is someone else, although Candace’s mother believes she knows the perpetrator(s).
The episode entitled “Valley of the Damned: Impossible Perpetrator” in Investigation Discovery’s “Valley of the Damned” analyzes the complicated case extremely carefully and lays out the facts in a way that the audience can understand. If you are interested, read more about the case because it has piqued your curiosity, you can count on us to help. If so, why don’t we just get started?
How did Candace Hiltz die?
Candace Colleary Hiltz was born on December 22, 1988 in Canon City, Fremont County, Colorado. She was enrolled in a program at Brigham Young University that allowed her to earn her degree online, and she was almost done. Candace’s mother, Dolores Hiltz, fondly recalled how her daughter’s dream was to attend Stanford Law School and eventually have a seat on the United States Supreme Court. The young woman, who was just 16 years old, gave birth to a baby girl named Paige with her boyfriend Jesse Weaver. Paige was the young girl’s first child. Hydrocephalus was present in Paige’s head at birth, making her condition extremely unusual.
Despite being both hilarious and intelligent, Candace was known to frequently get into trouble due to her outspoken nature. She had a knack for telling people exactly what she thought of them, despite the possibility that it would offend them. Dolores felt it played a key role in her gruesome murder. On August 15, 2006, Jesse went to check on Candace, her mother, and Candace’s daughter, who all lived in a trailer in the Copper Gulch neighborhood. When he arrived, he found Candace’s daughter sobbing uncontrollably in her crib. He also observed blood in the trailer’s corridor, and when Dolores arrived, she discovered her daughter’s body pushed under the bed. The girl’s head had been severed.
When officers from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene, they found the body wrapped in a green blanket. Upon further investigation, they found that they had been shot at seven times. Five bullet holes were found in the back of her head, one in her left breast and one in her face. According to the results of the autopsy, the victim was shot with three different firearms: a .45 Long Colt was used to shoot him in the face, a .22 and a .410 shotgun were used to shoot him in the head, and a. 22 shotgun was also used to shoot him in the face. Police couldn’t find any evidence of sexual assault or robbery during their investigation.
Who is to blame for the death of Candace Hiltz?
After clearing Jesse Weaver of any wrongdoing, investigators turned their attention to Candace’s brother James “Jimmy” Hiltz, whom they believed to be the prime perpetrator of the murder. As a result of Jimmy’s false conviction in a series of neighborhood burglaries, he struggled with a variety of mental health issues that ultimately led to the breakup of his family of his wife and children. He used to live in the hills behind the trailer where Candace lived with her mother and daughter as if he were a homeless person because of his fear of other people. Candace was his ex-girlfriend.
Due to the fact that Jimmy could not be found following a murder, a search was carried out for three days and he was eventually taken into custody. However, investigators were unable to establish a connection between him and his sister’s death. Jimmy was a regular patient at the Colorado Mental Health Institute and was found not guilty on charges of burglary unrelated to the case because he was mentally ill. He was then sentenced to return to the mental hospital. With no new evidence or suspects, the investigation was quickly dropped.
However, in December 2016, a Canon City resident named Rick Ratzlaff purchased a storage shed previously owned by Lt. Det. Robert Dodd, an investigator involved in the investigation of Candace’s murder. This brought the case back into the limelight after ten years of silence. Rick came across a brown envelope marked with the word “evidence” when he searched the contents of the package. Inside he discovered a bloody rope, an ax and some bloody socks. The contents were believed to be evidence from the Candace murder case and therefore led to an investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
In 2018, Robert was found guilty of manipulating public records, which is an official Class A misdemeanor, and he was sentenced to fifteen days imprisonment based on his conviction. Dolores initially suspected that her son Jimmy was responsible for the murder; However, over time, she began to believe that police officers were to blame instead. Candace got into a heated argument with the deputy, who came to the Hiltz residence on August 10, 2006 to question Dolores about Jimmy’s possible no-house sign violation. The deputy had gone there to question Dolores about Jimmy’s possible violation of the no-house sign. The Hiltz family discovered the body of their dog three days after the altercation in the area of woods behind their trailer.
Dolores argues that it was the police officers who allegedly killed both her daughter and the dog, and that they also mishandled the investigation to cover up their crime. Furthermore, Dolores believes they did this to cover up the fact that they committed the crime. However, the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office has vehemently denied the allegations, even providing evidence linking Jimmy to the murder. Police had statements from Jimmy’s ex-wife and Jesse’s ex-wife, both of whom reported Jimmy’s recurring outbursts of anger. Regarding the weapons used in the murder, Jimmy was a suspect in a number of on-site burglaries, and one of those burglaries involved the theft of several goods, including the murder weapons.
However, the bone fragment that detectives uncovered near where Jimmy lived during the murder is the most damning piece of evidence they have unearthed to date. There is a correlation between the suspect’s DNA and the victim’s DNA, and investigators have presented their findings to prosecutors. Dolores vehemently refutes the circumstantial evidence that her son was the killer, and she claims law enforcement officials bear some responsibility for her daughter’s death. This is happening while the police are awaiting a decision on the case.
Who was Candace Hiltz?
Candace Hiltz was yards from her infant daughter when she was killed in the shooting that took her life. According to the reports, she was one of the smart and bright kids who took calculus at the age of 11 and did it perfectly. Moreover, she did so according to the stories. The young lady often dreamed of her future career at the Supreme Court. In addition, she was granted admission to Stanford Law School. When the news broke that Hitlz had been horribly murdered in her own home, everyone around her expected that she would be the one who would make everyone proud of her. However, all their hopes and aspirations were dashed in a single moment when the news broke.
Everyone was shaken after seeing her body, which showed she had been shot multiple times with three different types of firearms. The murder was extremely cruel. Her mother found her body under the bed, where she discovered her daughter’s body wrapped in a green duvet. Her body had been there for some time. Since the death of Candace Hiltz, her daughter Paige Hiltz, who has lived with her grandmother since the death of her mother, has sadly passed away from an illness. It has been some time since the case went unsolved and another devastating piece of information is that her daughter Paige Hiltz passed away.