Former Summit County man charged with 2010 Elbert County murder of schoolteacher

Jack Queen
Daniel Pesch, 34, formerly of Summit County, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection to a 2010 Elbert County Cold case.
Courtesy of the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office |

A former Summit County man was arrested on Tuesday, Dec. 19, in connection with the 2010 murder of an Elbert County schoolteacher, potentially closing the seven-and-a-half year cold case of Randy Wilson, found strangled to death in a remote field.

Daniel Pesch, 34, has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond. He worked at CB & Potts Restaurant and Brewery in Breckenridge until March, according to his Facebook page, but social media posts indicate he may have recently moved to the Front Range. His voter registration lists a Frisco address.

The murder case is under seal, and the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office said it could not release any additional details about Pesch’s arrest. In addition to murder, he is charged with resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer and attempted escape.

A spokeswoman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office confirmed that the case was sealed but said she couldn’t comment on the reasons why. Pesch’s next court date is on Dec. 22, she said.

Because the case is sealed, it is unclear whether or not Pesch knew Wilson or what motive, if any, he may have had in the murder.

Wilson’s body was found on June 14, 2010, by two men driving on a remote Elbert County road. Wilson had a plastic bag over his head and a belt around his neck. His hands were bound behind his back, according to 911 call transcripts.

The caller told dispatchers that there was a vehicle in the field nearby but the engine was cold, indicating it had been sitting there for a while. There was a jack lying in the road nearby, but the two men didn’t see any blood at the scene.

The county coroner determined that Wilson died of asphyxiation. The sheriff’s office said at the time that he was last seen at a gas station along Interstate 70 at 10:45 p.m., according to contemporary news reports.

“There was also an individual there from Florida with apparently a female in the vehicle,” Elbert County Undersheriff Shayne Heap told 7NEWS in June 2010. “We believe they might be the last persons who had contact with Mr. Wilson.”

Wilson was 52 when he was killed, according to an obituary. He had five sons and taught physics and calculus at Kiowa High School.

First-degree murder is the most serious homicide charge in Colorado and includes a malicious, deliberate component that makes it eligible for capital punishment or life imprisonment.

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