EXCLUSIVE: Suspect in 1976 gruesome killing of pregnant teen ‘Beth Doe' released on bail pending trial
Luis Colon woke up to a text message from a Pennsylvania State Police trooper that left him speechless. The alleged killer of his sister Evelyn Colon is out on bail.
"The trooper text me saying that recent changes to Pennsylvania's bail law required a bail amount to be specified, and I guess he was able to post the $250,000," said Colon.
Luis Anthony Sierra, 64, of Ozone Park, New York, was arrested in April 2021 for the 1976 killing of 15-year-old Evelyn Colon of Jersey City, New Jersey. The teen's dismembered remains and her unborn child were found stuffed in suitcases dumped along the Lehigh River in Carbon County five days before Christmas. No one knew her identity until DNA revealed it in March of 2021.
Follow-up interviews with Evelyn's family led investigators to Sierra, her then 19-year-old boyfriend, who she had moved in with a few weeks before giving birth, according to her family. Sierra, a retired bus driver, was extradited to Pennsylvania and held at the Carbon County Correctional Facility without bail due to the nature of the charges.
I spoke with Colon by phone. He stated that he and his family found out about Sierra's release this morning.
"I just can't believe this. No one called me or my family to tell us or to explain these changes in the bail law in Pennsylvania. We literally just found out that he's out and back with his family."
According to the website goldsteinmehta.com, the changes come after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided the case of Commonwealth v. Talley, "holding that prosecutors must introduce real evidence that a defendant is a danger to the community and no conditions of release can prevent that danger in order to revoke bail."
Therefore, the practice of "simply asserting that a defendant committed a serious crime and should be held without bail is no longer acceptable, " according to the website.
In Sierra's case, court records show that a hearing took place on June 8 at which time bail was set at $250,000, which he posted on June 15.
"This isn't some minor crime he's accused of doing. He's accused of killing my sister, and he gets to go home until the trial? Now there's a dangerous man out there free like nothing. Someone needs to explain this to us," Colon said.
Sierra is charged with one count of criminal homicide. A trial date has not been set.
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Claudia Rivero Investigative Reporter/Producer