Routine auto-theft call in Gilpin County leads to multi-city manhunt and death investigation

GCSO investigating whether two crimes are linked
Posted at 7:15 PM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 21:28:55-05

GILPIN COUNTY – A routine call on a stolen vehicle led to a multi-city manhunt and a subsequent death investigation in Gilpin County, but authorities investigating both cases don't think they are connected in any way. 

It all started after Gilpin County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the Coyote Motel around 8:30a.m. near Black Hawk.

As deputies investigated the auto theft, a motel custodian told law enforcement about another man he thought was sleeping on the property. When deputies approached, they learned the man was dead with a gunshot wound to his head.

The victim, a 67-year-old man, has not been identified. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the sheriff's public information officer, Cherokee Blake, said the preliminary investigation did not connect the two crimes.

Blake said the suspect fled the scene before deputies arrived, driving the stolen car south into Jefferson County.

Colorado State Patrol troopers found the abandoned vehicle near Silver Rock Lane and Swede Gulch at around 9:11 a.m.

A Code Red Alert was then issued to Evergreen neighbors.

As the manhunt continued, investigators followed footsteps to a nearby home. That's when residents at the home realized one of their trucks was stolen.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office released this description of the second stolen vehicle: "The Dodge Ram truck stolen from Meadowlark Drive is a 2017 model and is gray in color. License plate is COD 084. There are black tool boxes on the bed of the truck. If seen, please call 911."

According to Blake, the suspect is a Hispanic man in his mid-20’s to mid-30’s. He has a shaved head and a slender build. The man was last seen in a dark-colored hoodie.