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In Tina's Shadow

In 1995, Tina Sandoval was riding high. The sharp young University of Northern Colorado graduate had just landed her dream job as a nurse. She had a new apartment, lots of friends and a loving family – all the makings of a promising future.

One lingering problem plagued her like the cancer she was helping treat at the hospital. Her husband. The man who snuck through neighborhoods in the dark of night, calling himself “The Shadow” as he lurked in windows and homes, had avoided detection and police capture for years.

John Sandoval was the man she married three years earlier, but he had a past and a growing habit of terrorizing women. One too many knocks on the door by police helped her make up her mind to leave — once and for all.

A final meeting with her husband to settle an IRS debt would be the last time anyone would see Tina. Police knew he killed her. But they had nothing — no crime scene, no confession and no body.

Tina’s disappearance haunted her family and police for 14 years before a bold team of prosecutors and investigators took it on in 2009 to prove that her husband had gotten away with murder.

They didn’t know how he did it, and he would never confess or talk, but they knew they had their man. In a month-long trial, they worked to convince a jury of his guilt, establishing through every means necessary that the only possible cause of her disappearance was murder.

About the author:

Sharon R. Dunn has been a newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years with the Greeley Tribune in Greeley, Colo. She covered the crime and courts beat for more than a decade, culminating with the trial of John Sandoval in 2010. She now serves as the newspaper’s business editor, and she shares editing responsibilities for daily news coverage. She also is the managing editor for an oil and gas magazine published through the newspaper. She lives in northern Colorado with her family and her loving and very protective dog.

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