Sheriff’s deputies investigating May death of man they say was shot in north Weld County |

Sheriff’s deputies investigating May death of man they say was shot in north Weld County

Tommy Simmons / Greeley Tribune

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The Weld County Sheriff’s office is seeking information about a May 18 incident in which a Wyoming man was found dead on the side of his semi-trailer west of Hereford, about 55 miles north of Greeley. Anyone who saw people or vehicles around the semi-trailer should call (970) 356-4015. They can also call Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-444-3776, or submit tips to

Weld County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating the three-week-old death of a Wyoming man they say was shot almost two miles from Hereford in north Weld County.

According to a news release from Cpl. Matt Turner of the Weld County Sheriff’s office, about 3:20 p.m. May 18, Nathan Combs, 49, of Burns, Wyo., died near the intersection of Weld County roads 136 and 77, about 55 miles north of Greeley and a few miles from the Wyoming border.

Deputies at first believed Combs died performing maintenance on the 2007 Peterbilt 379 semitrailer he drove, but they later learned he died from an apparent gunshot wound. The wound did not appear to be self-inflicted, according to the release.

Turner said the sheriff’s office delayed in releasing information until deputies were certain about the circumstances surrounding Combs’ death. He said detectives have given the case their full attention and now need the public’s help in the investigation.

“We wanted to make sure we had all the facts we possibly could before we started informing the public,” he said.

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said snowy weather was also a hindrance during the investigation. He added determining the circumstances of a person’s death takes time.

“In some instances, determining the manner of death isn’t as clear cut as a person might believe,” he said.

Still, the scant information publicly known about Combs’ death — that he was shot on an isolated Weld County intersection — may seem to echo northern Colorado highway shootings in recent years. On April 22, 2015, Milliken resident Cori Romero was shot while driving on Interstate 25 near Windsor. She survived, but another shooting occurred less than a month later, on May 18, 2015, just north of Windsor. The victim in that shooting, John Jacoby, was found dead from the wound near the intersection of Weld roads 15 and 72.

Northern Colorado law enforcement confirmed there was a link between the two shootings, but did not say what the link was.

Combs’ death also may seem to draw parallels to the apparent road rage homicide of Alberto Ruiz Jr., 33, of Greeley, who was shot April 25 in south-central Greeley. Ruiz was in a pickup he drove for the company he worked for at the time.

Reams said deputies do not believe the shootings are in any way linked.

“There is not any indication … that this is connected to any other homicide,” he said.

That being said, he added deputies are still investigating Combs’ death, and said they are looking at it “with eyes wide open.”

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