Longtime Pagosa Springs resident Norm Vance and his son, Ian, soak in the Hippie Dip in 1988, the same year a woman’s body was found floating facedown in the hot-water pool. After 24 years, police arrested a man they suspect murdered the woman.
A truck driver from Lamar has been arrested in connection with a 24-year-old murder case in Pagosa Springs.
Charles “Ray” Stane, 56, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Vickie Calline Dexter, 40, of Durango, who was found dead 24 years ago floating facedown in a hot-water pool known as the Hippie Dip in downtown Pagosa.
Police identified Stane as a suspect days after the murder, but they didn’t have enough physical evidence to make an arrest, Don Volger, former chief of the Pagosa Springs Police Department, said last week during an interview.
Advances in forensic testing allowed authorities to resubmit DNA evidence late last year, which produced a near 100 percent match to Stane, according to an arrest affidavit filed in 6th Judicial District Court.
Volger called it the biggest case his department ever worked during his career as chief, from 1984 to 2009.
“We put more time and effort into that one case than we put into any that I remember,” he said.
Stane’s arrest for first-degree murder is not his first run-in with the law:
In 1987, Stane was arrested for felony sexual assault for pulling out a large clump of a woman’s hair. The same year, he was named a suspect in an attempted double homicide of a woman and her 9-year-old daughter, who were sexually assaulted and shot in Ector County, Texas. The two survived, and he remains a suspect in the unsolved case.
In 1992, Stane was convicted of felony kidnapping and sexual assault in Lamar. He served 19 years of a 26-year prison sentence.
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