DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. – Authorities arrested a man Tuesday who is suspected of driving a stolen Jeep that was involved in a pursuit with Douglas County sheriff’s deputies earlier this month that led to a separate crash that killed two young adults.
Mario Juan Jose, 24, was arrested Tuesday on a warrant issued Feb. 13 that carried charges of aggravated motor vehicle theft, vehicular eluding, first-degree criminal trespass, driving under restraint and violating bond conditions.
According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Jose was arrested by Denver police officers in connection to a Denver case as well as the Douglas County warrant.
“I am very pleased by the arrest. I had no doubt that our detectives, who were working around the clock, would find the driver of the stolen Jeep,” Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said. “As stated before, my message to those criminals that want to victimize my community; think twice about it because we will catch you.”
Jose’s arrest is the second made in connection with the pursuit and crash, which killed Jayne Frances Davicsin, 25, and Ryan Scott Carter, 27.
Deanna Bixby, 20, faces two counts of vehicular eluding causing death, two counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of trespassing, two weapons counts and one count of driving under restraint.
Bixby was driving a Mitsubishi Lancer sedan that was spotted along with a Jeep Grand Cherokee by a deputy who suspected both drivers were involved in vehicle prowling, as the area had seen a rash in vehicle break-ins over the last couple of years. Both vehicles were reported stolen, according to Spurlock.
Spurlock said that the officer began following the two stolen vehicles but focused on the Jeep as it moved north onto South Santa Fe Drive. The officer initiated a traffic stop, but the driver of the Jeep took off, driving erratically as the suspect led authorities on a pursuit on South Santa Fe Drive.
At the same time, Spurlock said Bixby, in the stolen Mitsubishi, was several miles ahead of the first pursuit driving northbound at a high rate of speed in the southbound lanes of South Santa Fe Drive when she was spotted by another deputy, who began to chase the Mitsubishi.
However, dash-cam video shows the pursuing deputy was not able to catch up with Bixby’s car, which Spurlock said was exceeding speeds of 100 mph.
Jose evaded capture after the initial incident and the Jeep was later found abandoned.
Jose is being held at the Douglas County jail on a $1 million bond. Authorities are not releasing his mug shot because of the ongoing investigations in both Douglas County and Denver.