ARAPAHOE COUNTY — A cold case with deep San Luis Valley ties is heating up.
A hearing was held in Arapahoe County District Court on March 29 to set a date for a preliminary hearing on murder charges against Michael Jim Medina, 49, in connection with the alleged death of his first wife Kimberly (“Kimmy, Kim)” Greene Medina, 19, in October 1996.
Medina is currently serving a 48-year prison term for the death of his 16-month-old son Degan near Monte Vista in May 2005.
The cold case involving Medina’s first wife lay dormant until a Grand Jury issued a report in October 2010 supporting a charge of murder. During the March 29 hearing an order sealing those Grand Jury proceedings was removed, and a preliminary hearing on the murder charges was set for 9 a.m. May 31 in Arapahoe County.
Publicly, Medina has claimed that Kimmy walked to a gas station for cigarettes in October, 1996, and never returned, but he also has claimed she went there to make a phone call, which her father John Greene found that odd since there was a phone at the house.
Greene said his daughter told him Oct. 27, 1996 that she was going to file for divorce. Two days later she disappeared. Her husband did not report her missing until Oct. 31.
Since 1996 no one has heard from Kimberly Greene Medina, and there has been no activity regarding her Social Security number, driver’s license, bank account or any other official records.
While authorities suspected foul play, the disappearance had remained a missing persons case.
Her family claimed it was very uncharacteristic of her to leave without telling anyone where she was going, especially leaving behind her daughters, then ages 2 and 3.
Medina allegedly told his second wife Becky Garel that he beat Kimberly with a bat and buried her alive in Elbert County, covering her with mud. Bad weather and other factors changed the area and the body was never found.
Some items believed to belong to Kimberly were found in that area, however.
In 1998, authorities focused their investigation on an area of farmland along the Arapahoe and Elbert county lines and interviewed a farmer who claimed to have located a possible gravesite and witnessed a maroon truck driving away from the area. At the time Medina owned such a truck.
After his wife’s disappearance, Medina was awarded custody of his daughters and came to Alamosa, where he had family.
He married Garel and had a son. In May 2005 Garel told Medina she wanted a divorce. He later allegedly held her and their son hostage, and she was able to leave but Medina took his son and daughters to Monte Vista where he left his daughters at Pizza Hut and went on to the sewer lagoons with his son who was found drowned there.