Death in Golden house fire ruled homicide, suspect arrested

GOLDEN, Colo. - Golden police say a house fire was set to cover up an apparent murder.  They already have a suspect in custody, but police need your help.

The Golden Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire Saturday morning at 711 Iowa Street.  After entering the home, firefighters discovered the body of a man.

The Golden Police Department, with help from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, concluded that the man was the victim of a homicide, and the subsequent fire burned much of the evidence.  As a result, a positive identification has not yet been made on the victim. 

Investigators began looking for a man who rented part of the home, who had not been seen or heard from since the fire, and then police said, they uncovered evidence at the scene pointing to him.

"We are still collecting evidence," said Cpt. Daryl Hollingsworth with Golden Police. "But there were a number of items that led us to that conclusion that I cannot discuss at this time."

Police issued a metro-wide alert for Thomas Kevin Laperch, 22.  He was located by Denver Police on the 16th Street Mall Sunday evening and returned to Golden to face charges. 

Laperch is being held at the Jefferson County Jail, facing murder and arson charges. Police said he is from Maryland and moved to Colorado recently. He had only been living in the home for about a week, according to police.

Police expect to have a positive identification on the victim after a coroner’s forensic examination on Monday. 

Meanwhile, investigators need the public's help to pin down the whereabouts of Laperch before, during and after the time of the crime.  If you have any information regarding this case, contact the Golden Police Department at 303-384-8045.

Watch a live update on this story on 7NEWS at 10.

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