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Man arrested on murder charge in death of Fort Collins woman found in lake

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Posted at 10:14 AM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 12:18:38-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Police arrested a man Wednesday on murder charges for the death of a young woman whose body was found floating in Sheldon Lake at Fort Collins City Park last week.

Heather “Helena” Hoffmann’s body was found in the lake last Wednesday, and police said at the time that they were treating her death as suspicious.

The 23-year-old woman had left work at a nearby McDonald’s around 1 a.m. that morning, but never made it home. A passerby at the park discovered her body floating in the lake later that day.

Fort Collins police announced Thursday morning they had arrested Jeffrey Scott Etheridge, 27, on a first-degree murder charge, and said sexual assault charges against Etheridge are also pending.

The Larimer County Coroner’s Office said that Hoffmann’s body showed signs that foul play may have been involved in her death, and Fort Collins police discovered through further investigation evidence that linked Etheridge to Hoffmann’s death.

The Coloradoan reports that Etheridge is an area transient.

The department is asking anyone with further details about the crime to contact Detective Tessa Jakobsson at either tjakobsson@fcgov.com or 970-221-6575.