The 30-year-old-man accused of killing two women in rural Yuma County is an aspiring Denver comic whose day job is processing insurance applications, 7NEWS has learned.
In an ominous incident last month, Tyler Warren Withrow was detained by Aurora police after officers said he was found naked and smashing neighbors' car windows with a golf club at his townhome complex.
Just before it happened. "Your neighbor is naked, and hes throwing things out in the driveway. Somethings wrong," said Sydney Summers, who called 911 before the destruction began. "This guy was usually quiet. We had no idea. He didnt talk to anybody. He stayed to himself."
Police said Withrow was transported to a hospital, where he was treated for cuts and given a mental health evaluation. Aurora police said they couldn't locate Withrow after he was released from the hospital, but detectives have applied for an arrest warrant in the window-smashing case.
Now, in the Yuma County slayings, Withrow is charged with two counts of first-degree murder with premeditation. He was advised of the charges Tuesday afternoon during a hearing in Yuma County District Court in Wray, the Yuma Pioneer reported.
He is accused of killing two female relatives Monday morning at a home near the community of Kirk near the Kansas border.
Deputies responded to the home after a woman called 911 at 10:35 a.m., gave her address and said she needed the Sheriff's Office before apparently hanging up, the newspaper reported.
It took about 35 minutes for the first deputies from Wray to reach the remote home. They found Withrow at the home along with the bodies of the two women.
Yuma County Sheriff Chad Day has said the women's names won't be released aren't until Thursday morning after the victims are positively identified during autopsies.
Authorities haven't said how the women were killed. Officials are restricted in what they can say about the case, because a judge has issued a gag order.
On his comedy blog TylerWithrowUnhinged.com and in a publicity release, Withrow describes himself as a "Rising Denver comic and professional Denver MC (master of ceremonies) talent."
"Tyler Withrow is unhinged at his new blog: tylerwithrowunhinged.com. And thats good news for fans of humor and comic mayhem," according to a January publicity release on posted on PRLog.org. The release contained a mock Tom Brokaw interview with Withrow.
Withrow has also placed second in a Toastmasters International humor speech contest for the Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska region.
One of his favorite comedy topics is necromancy, the black magic art of conjuring up the dead to gain knowledge from them about the future.
"While not studying necromancy with the intent to raise the dead to destroy the world as you know it and rebuild it in my own image, I am a Denver comic available for master of ceremony duties. Cheap," Withrow wrote in his publicity release.
His arrest stunned a friend.
Darrell Houghton, who met Withrow through Toastmasters, said he never saw any red flags or signs that Withrow was troubled.
"It's big mystery to me," Houghton told 7NEWS. "He never demonstrated any violent tendencies. This comes as a complete surprise."
Houghton said Withrow was living in a rented home in Aurora when the two last spoke in April. The friend said Withrow's family also lives in the Denver area.
"He is probably the smartest guy I know; very, very intelligent and also very funny," Houghton said.
The friend said he helped Withrow set up his comedy blog and write his public release to advance his comedy career.
However, Withrow hadn't done and any standup gigs in the past year or two, Hougton said.
"He had a dog that passed away in November and that seemed to affect him quite a bit," the friend said. "His dog was paralyzed
and he was kind of preoccupied with that."
After Withrow's arrest, Houghton said he took down TylerWithrowUnhinged.com at the request of a Withrow family member. The friend said family members had also asked him to not talk about Withrow and the criminal allegations against him.
Houghton said he didn't know anything about the Yuma County homicide victims and why Withrow had traveled to the tiny Eastern Plains town of Kirk.
On July 27, Aurora police were called to conduct a welfare check at a townhome complex at 2500 S. Victor St., said police spokeswoman Sgt. Cassidee Carlson.
Arriving officers found a naked Withrow in the parking garage, Carlson said. He had used a golf club to break windows in four vehicles. Withrow had somehow cut himself and there was a large amount of blood in the area.
"Officers quickly knew they were dealing with someone with a possible altered mental state," Carlson said.
Withrow failed to comply with orders to stop and at one point came at the officers, Carlson said.
An officer eventually stunned the man with a Taser, and police were able to subdue and handcuff him.
He was transported to the hospital for treatment of his injuries and a mental evaluation.
"By the time the detective was assigned to the case, Withrow had already been released from the hospital," Carlson said, and police couldn't find him.
Detectives have applied for an arrest warrant in the window-smashing incident, including charges for burglary, criminal mischief and resisting arrest, Carlson.
Asked if Withrow had ever received psychological counseling or taken medication, Houghton said, "I can't comment."
Withrow appeared to have lost weight in photographs.
In an undated photo of Withrow doing standup comedy, the grinning jokester is wearing a green mask and standing at a podium with a stuffed teddy bear with sign reading, "Supercilious," propped on it.
But in his arrest photo, a slack-faced Withrow has lost weight and his face is gaunt.
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