Information scarce in Carbondale homicide
February 18, 2015
Authorities on Wednesday released no new information about Monday's homicide in Carbondale, including the identity of either the victim or suspect.
Carbondale police said Tuesday that a man whose SUV rear-ended an empty cattle truck just south of city limits told the crew of a helicopter taking him to Grand Junction that he had killed his wife shortly before the crash.
Police later found a woman stabbed to death in an apartment just west of downtown and less than 2 miles from the accident site. It was the town's first homicide in 12 years.
Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire said Tuesday that the woman died from "multiple sharp force injuries" and it could take days to positively identify her and notify next of kin.
On Wednesday, he elaborated on the reasons.
"It's not uncommon in non-publicized Coroner's Office investigations to not have an ID or wait on forensic evidence to be certain that the name we list on the death certificate is that of the person who died," he said by email.
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"If we were to falsely identify a decedent then that would be problematic," he said, and because of the possibility of criminal court proceedings, the office must "be absolutely certain of the facts before we present … to the public and potentially a judge and jury."
"This is an unusual case," he said. "Therefore, the time of death and the circumstances surrounding death go more towards the criminal investigation, which (Colorado Bureau of Investigation) and Carbondale (Police Department) are working on."
Communications about the slaying were being handled by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, which is leading the probe.
"Because of the fluid nature of this active investigation, it would not be appropriate to comment at this time," public information officer Susan Medina wrote in an email. "Based on the investigation, there is no threat to the public."
Medina did not reply to inquiries of whether the man in the accident was still alive and hospitalized. He had been in protective custody Tuesday at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, where he was flown after receiving initial treatment at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.