Authorities in Colorado are offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the cold-case double murder of two teenage Columbine High School students who were fatally shot on Valentine’s Day 21 years ago.
As Crime-Online reports, young couple Nicholas Kunselman, 15, and Stephanie Hart-Grizzell, 16, were gunned down inside a Subway sandwich shop in Littleton, Colorado, on Feb. 14, 2000.
Kunselman worked at the local fast food franchise, and Hart-Grizzel had driven to the restaurant on Coal Mine Avenue to wait for her boyfriend to finish his shift.
Their bodies were discovered after a fellow Subway employee noticed that the store lights were still on just before 1 a.m., long after closing.
Authorities reportedly believe that at least one intruder entered the store and shot Kunselman and Hart-Grizzell. Officials hope the significant reward increase — up from $12,000 — will encourage anyone with information to come forward.
$100,000 reward in double murder of Columbine High School students found dead at Subway restaurant
As reported by CBS4, teenagers’ bodies were discovered behind the counter inside the Subway restaurant. Investigators say both victims were shot by at least one unknown intruder.
On Sunday, the anniversary of the Columbine students’ double murder, officials significantly upped the reward from $12,000 to $100,000 in the hopes that it will encourage anyone with information in the baffling cold case to finally come forward.
“With this significantly increased reward, people who haven’t come forward with their information will be much more likely to do so now,” Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader told the news station.
“We are continuing our diligent work to bring justice to Nicholas and Stephanie.”
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office hopes the increased reward will help draw in tips.
Reward Jumps To $100,000 In Murders Of Nick Kunselman, Stephanie Hart-Grizzell
As KMGH-Denver reports, at the time of the double murder, the two teenagers were students at Columbine High School, the very school where less than a year earlier 12 of their classmates and a teacher had been killed in a mass shooting.
The high school sweethearts stuck together through the traumatic time in their lives and were described as a happy young couple by family members.
“Although they had just gone through the tragedy at the high school, they were coming through it so good and they were so happy,” Stephanie’s mother, Kelly Grizzell said in 2017. “We just really felt like that might be the last hard thing that we went through.”
The tragic Subway double murder took place just 10 months after the mass shooting, just a few blocks from the high school. “The last thing I said to her was, ‘Goodnight. I love you,’” Kelly recalled. “I’ll never forget that.”
On the night Stephanie went to the Subway to wait for Nick, another employee was driving past the restaurant after midnight and noticed the lights were still on. The employee went inside, early on the morning of Feb. 14, 2000, and found Stephanie and Nick shot to death behind the counter.
Reward increased to $100,000 in 2000 murders of two young Columbine students
More than two decades later, few credible leads surfaced in the Columbine students’ double murder, despite investigators initially releasing a description of the suspect — a white male, 16 to 20 years old, about 5-foot-7 and 150-170 pounds with blondish hair.
The release of those details resulted in tips from across the country and several confessions after the murders gained nationwide coverage, which all turned out to be false, KUSA Denver reports.
“It’s just hard because they were so young and we just don’t understand,” close friend of the couple Amanda Williams said in 2017. “Going through Columbine and then having to kind of relive all these bad things…we had to do it all over.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers (720) 913-7867 or submit a tip online. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
“We are hopeful that the increase will result in tips that will lead investigators to the person or persons responsible for this crime and hopefully start the closure process for the family and friends of Nicholas and Stephanie, as well as the community,” said Michael Mills, board president of Metro Denver Crime Stoppers, in the release.
Reward increased to $100,000 in Valentine’s Day 2000 homicide of high school sweethearts