No IDs in Carbondale homicide tied to crash; victim was stabbed to death
A man being flown to a second hospital for treatment Monday — hours after his SUV slammed into the back of a semi — stunned the flight crew by telling them he had killed his wife in a Carbondale apartment shortly before the accident, police said Tuesday.
The news sent Carbondale police, who hadn’t had to investigate a homicide for nearly 12 years, to Cooper Place, which is a block off Main Street just west of downtown. They began checking apartments at around 2 p.m., but everyone they found was OK.
The crash just south of city limits had occurred at 7:15 a.m. and crushed the front of the man’s Toyota 4Runner. The driver of the empty cattle truck, who was unhurt, was about to make a left turn when he was rear-ended by the 4Runner.
Rescue workers took the driver of the SUV to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, and after treatment there, doctors decided to send him to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. Carbondale Deputy Fire Chief Rob Goodwin on Tuesday described the ambulance trip to Glenwood as “textbook.”
During the afternoon at Cooper Place, police continued searching apartments in the area, and around 3:45 p.m. encountered a woman arriving at her home.
“The resident would not allow police officers to search her home, but agreed to check the apartment,” according to a Carbondale Police Department news release. “This resident then reported a deceased individual in the apartment with suspected knife wounds. The victim was obviously deceased.”
Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire said late Tuesday afternoon that the woman died of “multiple sharp force injuries and the manner of death is homicide.”
“The identification and age of the decedent is pending further investigation in cooperation with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation,” Glassmire said in a news release, which also said ”it may take days before the decedent is positively identified and next of kin is properly notified.”
Police by Tuesday evening had not released names of either the victim or the suspect. The driver of the 4Runner was in protective custody at St. Mary’s, where he was being treated for injuries described Monday as serious, police said.
The accident, which was less than 2 miles from the apartment building, happened on dry roads.
Goodwin, the deputy fire chief, said Monday’s scenario is a scary one for first responders, who can find themselves in the middle of a potentially volatile situation without realizing it.
“This is kind of a crazy business,” Goodwin said. “You don’t know what you’re going to run into based on what whoever called 911 told a dispatcher. Many times, when we get on scene, it is not what we thought it was. We try to keep our antenna up and have good situational awareness.”
Homicides are rare in Carbondale. In April 2003, Jessie Brooks was arrested for the shooting of Robert Rogers and ultimately charged with manslaughter. That last case in city limits resulting in a murder conviction was in January 1994, when Patrick O’Boyle shot and killed his roommate, Bryan Palmer.
Agencies assisting with the investigation include Garfield County Sheriff’s Department, Colorado State Patrol, Grand Junction Police Department, 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Garfield County Coroner’s Office, Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
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