A first-degree murder charge has been filed against a suspect in connection to the disappearance and death of Aurora teen Kenia Monge.
The district attorney's office said Travis Forbes, 31, was formally charged Thursday in connection with Monge's slaying.
"The charge alleges that in the early morning hours of April 1, 2011, Forbes met the victim, convinced her to get into his car, and later killed her. Her body was recovered (Wednesday) in an area of south Weld County after new information was developed jointly between the Denver DAs Office and the Denver Police Department," the joint news release stated. The news release was sent on behalf of the DA's Office and the Denver Police Department.
Forbes is already in custody in Larimer County for another violent crime from July, and he will be held there without bond, said district attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough.
He is scheduled to appear in Denver District court on Sept. 23, where he will be formally advised of the murder charge.
Coroner Identifies Remains As Kenia Monge
Monge disappeared on April 1 after visiting a Denver nightclub. She left her purse, car keys and cellphone at the club, police said.
Forbes is the last known person to have seen her alive and admitted publicly to giving her a ride in his van from the club.
The CALL7 Investigators confirmed that Forbes himself led investigators to where Monge's body was buried in a grove of cottonwood trees between Interstate 76 and railroad tracks, halfway between Keenesburg and Hudson.
A source told 7NEWS Forbes agreed to lead investigators to the shallow grave in return for the district attorney taking the death penalty off the table.
The Denver Police Department's crime lab processed the area for eight hours on Wednesday and later that evening, removed a decomposed body from a shallow grave.
The Denver coroner is conducting an autopsy on the body, which they positively identified as Kenia Monge. The coroner's office has not released her cause of death.
Woman With Forbes On Night Of Arrest Talks
Forbes was arrested in the early morning hours of July 10 while walking with a 25-year-old woman he had just met after the bars had closed.
That woman, Elizabeth Ann Nix, realizes she escaped what may have been a close call.
"I'm grateful (police) were on top of him. It made me think a lot about situations and bad people. It was a reality check for sure," Nix said.
She said she goes to school so she hadn't thought about Forbes for some time, but she's glad Monge's family has some form of closure.
"I'm happy for her family. They don't have to wonder anymore," Nix said.
Nix was walking back to her apartment with Forbes, around 3:45 a.m., when an officer approached them, saying that he was checking on the report of two people trying to open car doors. Forbes identified himself as "Travis Kennedy" and said he did not have ID, and did not recall his phone number or address.
The officer then put Nix in the back of the police car for what the officer said was for "her own safety," and told her that Forbes was a "dangerous man" and that he was being monitored by detectives.
Forbes was arrested that morning for giving a fake name to police officers. But on July 19 Forbes was charged with 12 counts, including attempted murder, arson and three counts of sexual assault.
Police in Fort Collins said he beat and raped a 30-year-old Fort Collins woman and then set her apartment on fire on July 5. The victim jumped out of her second story window and suffered injuries from the attack, the fire and the fall. She survived, but barely. She was in a medically induced coma for a while.
However, her family wonders if her attack could have been prevented. If Forbes had been arrested when officers first suspected him in the Monge case, he would have been in custody and would have never been in Fort Collins.
However, the victim's father told 7NEWS he doesnt want to dwell on the past and wants to move forward.
Forbes has a lengthy history of crimes against women.
In July 2004, Forbes hit a woman in the head with a rock while she was jogging in Highlands Ranch. He took a plea and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
When he was 17, Forbes broke into 16 Fort Collins homes and businesses, stealing more than $15,000 in cash and property. When police searched his room, they found several pairs of women's panties, including three belonging to a woman whose first name started with an M. Two of the white panties had an "M" written in marker that the woman had not inked and a 1½-inch rip in them.
Denver police learned of Forbes after he texted Monge's cellphone the evening after she disappeared. The text message read, "Hey, this is Travis, the guy who gave you a ride last night, white creepy van :) did you get home okay?"
Police then searched his Denver workplace, Deby's Bakery and Cafe, and his white van, according to a search warrant affidavit.
The bakery owner, Monica Poole, told police that she found the security system turned off the night Monge disappeared. The owner said the video showed Forbes turning the security camera off and he was wearing what appeared to be a latex glove up to his elbow.
An employee of a neighboring business told police that he saw two or three men standing behind the bakery on the night of April 1, burning materials in a 55-gallon barrel, the affidavit said. The employee said a white cargo van was parked by the men in such a way that it blocked his view.
Police took a yellow rubber glove and a metal barrel into evidence, the warrant stated.
Kenia's Mother: I Now Have Angel In Heaven
On Thursday, Kenia's mother and stepfather, Maria and Tony Lee, addressed the media for the first time since her body was discovered.
"They have identified who they found yesterday in Keensburg. It is Kenia," said Tony Lee. "We have to take this girl home. We gotta put her to rest."
Tony Lee said he's still in shock even though he knew all along this would be the outcome.
"I've prepared myself for this day. It didn't do any good," he said. "There's nothing you can do to prepare yourself for something like this. Even up through yesterday, our hope was that it was not Kenia."
Kenia's mother, Maria, said she's at least grateful for the closure.
"Finally, I got the truth," said Maria. "And I know I have an angel in heaven. And she's in heaven waiting one day for us to get there. And I'm very proud of her. All the dreams I have, I see her and she's happy."
The Lee's plan to start a foundation to make other young women aware of the constant threat of abductions.
"We want to make young women aware that those dangers are still out there," said Tony. "There's going to be another Kenia."
Kenia's family is now planning a funeral for next week. They have established a fund called the Kenia Monge Benefit Fund. One can donate to the fund at any branch of First Bank.
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