ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. – Sheriff Mike McIntosh said Wednesday he doesn’t believe there is a threat to the public despite no one having been arrested in connection with the death of Natalie Bollinger.
Bollinger, 19, was found dead Friday afternoon off Riverdale Road in unincorporated Adams County about 26 hours after she was reported missing out of Broomfield. Her identity was released Tuesday by the county coroner’s office.
McIntosh said at a Wednesday news conference that detectives have been working around the clock to follow up on leads that might lead them to Bollinger’s killer.
He said detectives discovered early on that the body was that of Bollinger’s, and have been working with her family and tipsters in the investigation.
McIntosh said officials were “pretty convinced” they knew what Bollinger’s cause of death was, though neither the coroner’s office nor other authorities have so far released that information.
He also said that though investigators have been following up on several leads and have interviewed “a lot” of witnesses, that he was “not ready at this point to call anybody a suspect.”
He said that some of the people who have been interviewed have been connected to various Facebook pages and posts that have been making their way through social media.
“It’s certainly something that’s going to lend itself as we investigate this further. We need to take all of this information in and see how it relates and correlates with what we know,” McIntosh said.
He also was asked specifically about a man whom Bollinger received a protection order against last month, who has also been posting online.
“We have talked to him, and again, we are not ready to call anybody a suspect, but it’s certainly a piece of our investigation, a piece of our timeline,” McIntosh said.
He said that social media can act as both a helpful tool and a detriment to police work in these situations.
“The goal is to make sure we’re not headed down a rabbit trail that we don’t need to go down,” McIntosh said of sifting through posts and interviewing those posting. “I encourage people to use social media responsibly.”
And though McIntosh said he had to remain mum as to why he was confident the public was not at risk, he tried to offer some peace of mind.
“Obviously I know more things than I’m at liberty to discuss,” he said. “It’s a tough situation to be in. I have information and I’m confident…but it’s not something I can release at this point.”
He also read aloud a statement from Bollinger’s father, Ted Bollinger:
“On behalf of Natalie Bollinger’s family, we would like to thank our friends and the community for the outpouring of support during this incredibly difficult time. Our family has been deeply devastated by this loss and cannot fully express how much we miss our beautiful Natalie. Our hearts are absolutely broken.
“We are in the process, but have not yet finalized any memorial plans. We will be sure to share with you all, the date and time of her service once those arrangements have been completed. In the meantime, we are requesting privacy to mourn our painful loss and ask for your continued thoughts and prayers.
“We are truly appreciative to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and Broomfield Police Department for the time they have dedicated to this ongoing investigation and for supporting our family. More importantly, our family asks that if you have an information pertaining to Natalie’s case, that you please contact the Sheriff’s Office.”
The family has also verified a GoFundMe page created on Ted Bollinger’s behalf to raise money for funeral costs.
The sheriff’s office and Broomfield Police Departments, which are handling the investigation, ask anyone with information to contact them at 303-654-1850 or 303-288-1535.