RYE, Colo. - Three people found dead in a house fire in Rye have been identified as husband and wife and their adult daughter. They were shot to death as they slept, authorities said Saturday.
Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor said they saw evidence of "multiple gunshot wounds" on the bodies as firefighters tried to control the blaze that was reported the morning of Nov. 27.
The three victims were identified as 51-year-old Reginald Tuttle, 55-year-old Kim Tuttle, and their adult daughter, 33-year-old Dawn Roderick.
The Pueblo County Sheriff's office has named 59-year-old Harry Mapps as a prime suspect in their murders. He was a handyman who lived at the house until a week before the fire.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation earlier determined the house fire was arson, with more than one point of origin.
Detectives continue to work leads and interview all known friends and family members of the Tuttles, the sheriff's department said. They have discovered that checks totaling $8,000, bearing the name of one of the victims, were cashed in Pueblo and La Junta on the day of the fire. The person that cashed the checks has been positively identified as Mapps. One surveillance image clearly shows Mapps in a blue van cashing one of the checks, authorities said.
That information, coupled with the victims' cause of death as determined by the Pueblo County Medical Examiner James Kramer, investigators were able to establish the probable cause necessary to obtain an arrest warrant for Mapps for identity theft, theft above $5,000 and forgery.
"Harry Mapps is believed to be armed and dangerous and new bulletins have been sent to all local and national law enforcement outlets," said Taylor. "It would appear the motive for the crime was financial and the evidence only leads to one person being involved in all necessary aspects of the crime and that is Harry Mapps."
A nationwide alert has been issued for Mapps.
Mapps is described as 6 feet tall, weighing 135 pounds, with red hair and blue eyes. He may have a graying beard, according to the sheriff's office. He was last known to drive a blue 2004 Chrysler Town and Country van with Texas or Colorado plates.
The sheriff's office did not explain the discrepancy in Mapp's physical description and the surveillance photos taken at the bank, which appear to show him heavier.