Beth McCann

District Attorney

Second Judical District

201 W, Colfax Ave, Dept. 801
Denver, CO 80202


News Release

February 24, 2023 Contact: Carolyn Tyler, Communications Director,, 720-913-9025

Cold Case Homicide Defendant Returns to Colorado to Face Charges

DENVER—Terri Turachak was 35-years-old when her body was found in her apartment on October 5, 1996, by Denver police and medical personnel. According to the autopsy report, Ms. Turachak died from strangulation and blunt force trauma to her head. A significant lead was developed years later when DNA associated with the murder was matched to Ricky Dawson. Dawson was 35-years-old at the time of Ms. Turachak’s murder.

Following successive rounds of DNA testing and continued, years long investigation, murder charges were filed against Dawson in early 2023. This week, Mr. Dawson (current age 62) was extradited from Florida to Colorado by Denver Police Department detectives. Yesterday, a prosecutor with the Denver DA’s Office Cold Case Unit appeared in court in court as defendant Ricky Dawson was advised of the charges against him. Dawson faces one count of Murder in the First Degree – After Deliberation (F1) and one count of Murder in the First Degree – Felony Murder – Predicate Attempted Sexual Assault (F1). This is Denver District Court case number 23CR2003. Dawson is next scheduled to appear in court on March 23, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 5D.

About the Denver DA’s Office:
Our mission is to professionally and competently prosecute crimes and investigate criminal activity on behalf of the people of the State of Colorado and to seek equal justice for all in the criminal justice system. Our mission includes the prevention and deterrence of crimes, support of the well-being of victims, participation in the community, transparency, accountability, and improvement of the criminal justice system to provide fair alternatives to incarceration in appropriate cases.


The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal accusation that an individual(s) committed a crime(s) under Colorado laws.  A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  See Colo. RPC 3.6.