Arrest made in 23-year-old ‘Baby Faith’ case

Ceci Taylor

A 1996 Fort Collins cold case, in which a baby was found dumped in Horsetooth Reservoir in Larimer County, resurfaced over the past year and recently led to the arrest of 42-year-old Jennifer (Tjornehoj) Katalinich of Erie, Colorado, according to a press release published by the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office Nov. 5.  

Katalinich was brought into the Larimer County Jail on allegations of murder in the first degree (CRS 18-3-102) and murder in the second degree (CRS 18-3-103), and she was released after posting her $25,000 bond. 

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The “Baby Faith” case began in August 1996 when two 11-year-old boys found the body of a newborn baby wrapped in a trash bag in Horsetooth Reservoir. An autopsy later found the infant female died from asphyxiation and was a victim of a homicide. 

The baby became known as “Baby Faith,” and as investigators continued to dig into the story, the case was eventually declared cold due to a lack of leads. After her body was found, the community donated money for a funeral service and headstone, and “Baby Faith” was buried in the Roselawn Cemetery in Fort Collins.

The case was reopened in August 2006, as the LCSO hoped the public had new leads. Updates in DNA testing also led the police to reopen the case, but no new information was found at the time. 

In November 2016, investigators decided to resubmit evidence containing DNA to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for updated analysis. CBI met with investigators in July 2019 and reported there were a total of five individuals who could be related to “Baby Faith.” Further research revealed that four of those individuals were most probable to have information that could advance the investigation.

This past October, investigators took the case to Minnesota, where three of the individuals in question lived. However, after interviews, the three individuals were declared uninvolved with the case. Investigators then traveled to Maryland and met with the fourth individual. 

Based on information investigators gathered in Maryland, Katalinich was determined to have information pertaining to the “Baby Faith” case, and after speaking with Katalinich, Investigator Rita Servin presented her case to the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Katalinich on Nov. 1, and she surrendered and was booked into the Larimer County Jail Nov. 5. 

“This case serves as a great reminder that LCSO is determined to solve all cases despite the amount of time that passes after the commission of the crime,” Sheriff Justin Smith said in the release. “It often takes just one citizen to come forward with information to spark new life into a cold case.”

Anyone who may have information about the case can call Servin at 970-498-5167. 

Ceci Taylor can be reached at news@colleigan.com or on Twitter @cecelia_twt.

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