Formal charges filed against Ari Liggett in death, dismemberment of his mother

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. - Formal charges have been filed against the Arapahoe County man arrested on suspicion that he killed and dismembered his mother.

Ari Liggett, 24, is charged with murder in the first degree, vehicular eluding and crime of violence, according to the complaint obtained Tuesday by 7NEWS.

The body of Liggett's mother, Beverly Liggett, was found in the back of a SUV that crashed during a pursuit on Oct. 17.  The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office said Ari Liggett was driving the car.

According to police dispatch radio, Ari Liggett called authorities and said he was driving with his mother's dead body.

"The (reporting party), who could possibly be driving the vehicle, is going to be (last name) Liggett, first of Ari. (He) stated that he was going to bury his dead mother yesterday and she was possibly in the vehicle, (her last name is) Liggett, first of Beverly. And also, the party is possibly armed and dangerous," said the dispatcher. "(The) party's known to manufacture his own firearms, weapons and poisonous gas. Consider officer safety."

After the vehicle crashed, officers on scene were told to wait on approaching the vehicle.

"(Arapahoe) County's advising don't touch the car at all, the bomb squad is apparently going to come and look at it," said the dispatcher.

Family members reported two days earlier that Liggett and her son were missing and the family was concerned for their welfare. The mother and son had resided together at 6223 East Peakview Ave.

Investigating deputies found a suspicious liquid inside the home. Preliminary testing determined that the suspicious liquid appeared to be potassium cyanide.

Court records obtained by The Denver Post show that during a search of the Centennial home, investigators found traces of human blood in the freezer and bathtub. They also found a crosscut hand saw and large kitchen knife in the dishwasher.

A cat was also found dead under a bed, according to The Post.

After his arrest on Wednesday, Liggett told authorities that he found his mother dead in the living room and that he believed she had committed suicide by ingesting potassium cyanide that was in a shot glass in the refrigerator, according the Post. Liggett said he panicked and put her body into a freezer, according to court records.

"Even though there was potassium cyanide in this home, this community was never in jeopardy," said Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson. "The only harm that that toxic chemical presented was inside that home and to individuals that were in that home without protective gear on."

Liggett Arrested In 2010

In March 2010, Liggett was arrested after a Boulder Homeless Shelter hazmat incident.

The shelter was evacuated after Liggett told police he was storing hazardous chemicals in a suitcase there. Granular material in a mason jar was found inside a suitcase and the shelter was shut down for seven hours while the investigation was conducted.

Tests on the chemical were inconclusive.

Liggett was arrested on a warrant for allegedly possessing a homemade silencer for a gun.

At the time, Beverly Liggett told Arapahoe County sheriff's deputies that her son had made comments to her in the past that he would "get rid of the family," referring to his mother and sister, according to court records obtained by 7NEWS.

Ari Liggett and his family are Jewish, but the mother said, "Ari is against Jewish people, and appears to be full of hatred for her and her family," a 2010 arrest affidavit said.

Beverly Liggett told deputies "Ari appeared to be slightly obsessed with killing, racism and Hitler," the affidavit said. The mother said she had found racist books in Ari's school book bag.

The mother said she also found that Ari had searched the Internet for ways to make chemicals like potassium cyanide and dangerous acids. The FBI got involved in the investigation after Ari Liggett ordered chemicals from a Connecticut company and asked for them to be mailed to a post office box.

When police searched his home after his arrest last week, they found a liquid that appeared to be potassium cyanide.

According to Robinson, Ari Liggett was not charged for possessing chemicals, but rather having a silencer for a weapon.

"He was not a danger to our community. I believe he might have been considered a danger to family members, and it's obvious based on what we're investigating," said Robinson.

7NEWS asked Robinson about a possible link to the Jessica Ridgeway case.

"We have discussed the situation with various entities and do not believe there is a link at this time," Robinson said.

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