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Cold case: Weld County authorities continue asking for tips on homicide from 2011

Posted at 12:50 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 14:54:50-04

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — Nine years ago, a 30-year-old man was found shot to death following a suspicious phone call northeast of Lochbuie. Despite an early investigation, a suspect was never identified, and the case went cold. On Thursday morning, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office said it is still seeking tips regarding the case.

On July 8, 2011 shortly before 10 p.m., a woman called police to report that 30-year-old Armando Mata-Magallanes of Denver had not returned home from work. She said she last saw him at 5:30 a.m. that day and he should have returned by 2:30 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

The woman told authorities that after Mata-Magallanes left for work, he called her to say he needed money, and instructed her to sell his truck. When she asked why, an unknown man got on the phone and, in Spanish, told her she needed to sell the truck for $30,000. The man said he’d call back at 11:30 a.m. on July 9 and then hung up the phone, according to the sheriff’s office.

On July 9, 2011 — one day after Mata-Magallanes was reported missing — the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad called the Weld County Sheriff’s Office to report a body near the east side of Interstate 76, about half a mile east of mile marker 27 northeast of Lochbuie, according to the sheriff’s office.

When deputies arrive at the scene, they located the body, which was later identified as Mata-Magallanes. A coroner’s office determined he had died of a gunshot wound and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the sheriff’s office.

Investigators confirmed that Mata-Magallanes did not show up to work on July 8. He was last seen leaving for work that morning in a 1983 blue Volkswagen Rabbit. The vehicle was later recovered along the 1600 block of 29th Avenue in Denver.

Armando Mata-Magallanes cold case_car

Anybody with information on this case can contact Weld County Det. Byron Kastilahn at 970-400-2827 or Tipsters can call Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.