The Murder of Bobbie Oberholzer & Annette Schnee - Unsolved Mysteries

An orange sock is found at the crime scene of two different murders.

Bobbie Jo Oberholzer & Annette Kay Schnee

Police believed both women were hitchhiking

CASE DETAILS

On January 7, 1982, a woman’s body was found five miles south of Breckenridge, Colorado. She had been shot twice. The only two clues at the scene were a set of house keys and one orange sock. The keys belonged to the dead woman, but the orange sock did not.

A single orange sock was recovered

Six months later and 13 miles away, another woman’s body was found. She had also been shot to death. Police were stunned when they discover that she was wearing the match for the orange sock.

The murdered women were both locals: 29-year old Bobbie Oberholtzer and 21-year old Annette Kay Schnee. They both disappeared on the same day and both had been shot with a medium caliber revolver. The crime scenes were miles from one another and the bodies were found six months apart. And yet police believed that both women were murdered on the same night and by the same man. The prime suspect became Bobbie’s husband, Jeff Oberholtzer:

“I can only say that I didn’t do anything. As a matter of fact, we had just planned, several days before, that it was time for us to have children. I miss my wife. I did not kill her.”

Bobbie and Jeff were married on July 1, 1977, four-and-a-half years before Bobbie was murdered. Jeff ran an appliance repair business, and Bobbie worked as a receptionist.  According to Jeff, the day of Bobbie’s death began as usual, she left home at 7:15 A.M. and hitchhiked to work:

“Everybody hitchhiked. You got to know the people in the town, and they got to know you, and they’d look for you to take you over and back if you needed a ride.” 

At 6:20 that evening, Bobbie called to tell Jeff she was having drinks with friends after work:

“She said she was at the village pub. She was with friends and she’d be home soon. So I proceeded to put the supper on, and waited for her to come home.  I woke up about midnight, and Bobbie wasn’t home yet. I thought maybe she’s kicking up her heels just a little bit and has forgotten about the time. Only she never came home. And I knew that something was not right.”

The missing sock belonged to Annette

Jeff drove into Breckenridge to look for Bobbie. Her friends told him she had left the bar around 7:30 pm. When Jeff reported to police that Bobbie was missing, they told him it was too early to file a report. Finally, he drove back home to wait for Bobbie.

The next morning, a farmer who lived 30 miles outside Breckenridge found Bobbie’s driver’s license on his property. When Jeff and two friends went to pick it up, they made a disturbing discovery:

“I spotted a blue spot in the snow. Her backpack was blue, so we stopped.”

With the backpack was one of Bobbie’s gloves, spattered with blood, and several bloody tissues. Jeff’s friends helped him organize a search. Two hours later, they found Bobbie’s lifeless body more than fifteen miles from where her backpack was discovered. At the scene, police found three intriguing clues. The only footprints near the body were Bobbie’s. A plastic cord was tied around one of her wrists. And the single orange sock was found nearby.

Bobbie Jo’s blue backpack was found

The same day Bobbie’s body was found, another woman, Annette Schnee, was reported missing. Annette was a cocktail waitress in Frisco, Colorado, and like Bobbie, often hitchhiked to work. From the start, police believed that the two cases were connected. Former Colorado Bureau of Investigations Agent Jim Hardtke investigated the case:

“When I first asked Jeff if he knew Annette Schnee, he denied it. It was several days later, after seeing her picture in the newspaper, that he came to me and said that he did know Annette and he gave her a business card.”

Jeff claimed he had once picked up Annette when she was hitchhiking and he had given her his business card, but had never seen or heard from her since that day.

On July 3, 1982, six months after she disappeared, Annette’s body was found. Police were stunned when they discovered she was wearing the other orange sock. Jeff’s business card was found inside her wallet. Park County Sheriff Robert Harrison believed the connection was obvious:

“The fact that two victims would both be associated or known by one individual, well, it makes the investigation tend to focus on Jeff Oberholtzer as the primary suspect.”

Authorities pieced together a scenario for the two murders. Annette Schnee was last seen in Breckenridge at 4:00 P.M., involved in a serious conversation with a dark-haired woman. Police believe that around 5:00 pm, Annette left to hitchhike home. The killer picked her up and drove 20 miles south of Breckenridge. He took Annette down a short dead-end road and sexually assaulted her. Richard Eaton is the Summit County Sheriff:

“While she was getting dressed, she apparently found one long sock, put it on, and couldn’t find the second long sock. She then put an orange bootie on her other foot, and her boots on. She apparently escaped, and while running away, was shot in the back.”

Police believed the killer then drove back to Breckenridge and found his second victim:  Bobbie Oberholtzer. The killer drove Bobbie ten miles south of Breckenridge, to a scenic overlook, where he apparently attempted to rape her.  When Bobbie escaped from the vehicle, the bootie fell out. The killer then chased her down the road and shot her twice as she turned away. According to Jeff Oberholtzer, he believed his wife knew her killer:

“My wife wouldn’t have gotten into a vehicle with just a couple strange guys. She knew that she could call for a ride if she wanted to. I think she knew someone and that they left together with a promise to her of taking her home.”

Two months after his wife was murdered, Jeff Oberholtzer took a polygraph exam and passed.  From day one, Jeff insisted that he had a rock-solid alibi. He said that at the time the murders were committed, he was at home visiting with a friend. But Jeff was unable to produce the witness for police. Then, finally, in December of 1990, Jeff’s friend surfaced. Sheriff Eaton interviewed the man:

“He stated that he had been at Jeff’s house that night.  However, the times that he gave us did not match up with the times that Jeff had given us.”

Jeff Oberholtzer has always maintained his innocence:

“As far as the finger being pointed at me, I’m still very, very angry about that. If different agencies had pursued different avenues and not concentrated so much on trying to find me guilty, we may have found out who did this to these girls.”

The Summit County Sheriff’s Department has cleared Jeff Oberholtzer as a suspect in the murder of his wife, Bobbie Jo, and Annette Kay Schnee.  The investigation remains open.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season six with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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23 Comments

  1. Janna

    I’m trying to remember from which season this mystery was on. Can someone clarify?

    Reply

    • Unsolved Mysteries

      Unsolved Mysteries Post author

      Hi Janna – this case was originally in season three, and can now be seen in S6:E15 with Dennis Farina.

      Reply

  2. KC

    I’m glad we don’t convict people based on one quote. Or do we?

    Reply

  3. thinkingoutloud

    i think the husband was having an affair with Annette and the wife found out and he murdered them both to keep quiet. strange both this women were murdered similar ways and on the same night/abducted same day. or maybe he had his friend do it.

    Reply

  4. Anonymous

    Wow, you guys have vivid imaginations. Unlikely that Jeff did it.

    Reply

  5. Anonymous

    Bobbie was my cousin, I know they focus’ed on Jeff in the beginning but I watched him at the funeral and completely believe he had nothing to do with it and was completely heartbroken losing Bobbie…

    Reply

  6. Anonymous

    Yes, and it’s still unsolved. Are there any other suspects?

    Reply

  7. Anonymous

    Thank you, Charlie.

    Reply

  8. April

    It’s likely the women were taken at the same time and that’s why both had a sock each from a pair. The one who ran was likely killed first and the other woman was likely taken to the next location for privacy in case anyone had heard the shots. He isn’t going to stay if he has a living victim. He would be anxious maybe but the living victim would be extremely upset so he probably just drove a few miles.

    Reply

  9. Anonymous

    The girls were taken at the same time.

    Reply

  10. Is it possible??

    Is it possible that Jeff and his friend had done it? I mean his friend took a while to come up and say he was Jeff’s alibi so I mean what if Jeff forced his friend to help him and when it became an investigation the friend realized what they had done and refused to be the alibi but Jeff threatened him somehow. Then he went for another victim and left his track an orange sock.

    Reply

  11. Anonymous

    Blue older type Van with no side windows Colorado tags .Two guys dark hair one was shaved the other had some facial looked liked mountain men..Parked on the wrong side of the road about 3 am in the morning.I saw something in 1982 that haunts me..

    Reply

  12. Anonymous

    the orange sock detail is ringing a bell……i’ll have to think about it. something i read in texas, maybe?

    Reply

  13. Anonymous

    I think that Jeff and his friend had planned this.jeff picked up Annette and knew that she was going hitch hiking.then bobbie told Jeff she was going to be out with some friends.maybe one of the friends she was with was the man that Jeff claimed he was with that is why the times are different then the friend killed boogie and drove off.

    Reply

  14. mary

    That is scary

    Reply

  15. Rebecca

    Jeff said “My wife wouldn’t have gotten into a vehicle with just a couple strange guys” Who mentioned anything about strange guys? he did, Why did he lie to the police saying he did not know Annette when he did, he gave her his business card. Jeff said “As far as the finger being pointed at me, I’m still very, very angry about that.The finger is pointing at him because he is making himself look guilty and suspicious

    Reply

    • Jonathan

      Strange guys – this could easily be explained in three ways. Firstly ‘guys’ could be used here in a gender neutral use. Secondly he could simply have used that word as that’s what’s expected to happen, guys kill, guys rape, therefore it must be guys. Thirdly (and probably least likely) we don’t know if the quote is actually correctly attributed.

      Knowing Annette – same deal with common usage of words. I met this guy a few weeks ago, have him a lift, even spent a few with him. I say I ‘know’ him, I’d say I’ve ‘met’ him. I’d probably remember him even less if I’d just given him a quick 10min trip down the road.

      Reply

  16. Jake

    Something about Jeff’s comment in quotes that struck me odd. He cited “My wife wouldn’t have gotten into a vehicle with just a couple strange guys.” How would he know if it’s one, two, or more people involved? Furthermore, how would Jeff know the gender, that it was guys versus women? If he’s not involved, then Jeff’s best reply would have been “My wife wouldn’t have gotten into a vehicle with just anyone.” Something doesn’t smell right here.

    Reply

  17. Tammy

    What was different about that night? Well for one thing, Jeff’s visitor. Was he a suspect?

    Reply

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ARTICLE 3. Shopping/Commercial Services
3.1 This Website may offer shopping services, which may be offered by us or by a firm that operates a store under contract with us. If our Website offers shopping or other commercial services, you will use a customer order form to request information, products, and services. The order form will ask you to give us contact information (like name or email address), financial information (like account or credit card numbers), and demographic information (like zip code or age).

3.2 We will use the financial information that you provide to bill you for products and services. By giving our Website your credit card and related personal information, you are authorizing our store to give that information to the merchant and credit card company in order to confirm and fulfill your order.

3.3 We will use contact information from the order form to fulfill your orders. We may also use contact data to get in touch with you when necessary. We will not otherwise use or distribute your financial information without your prior approval.

ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.