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Two people arrested in case of missing elderly Lakewood man feared dead

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Posted at 11:44 AM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 23:25:41-05

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Lakewood police said two people have been arrested in a case of a missing elderly man who is now feared to be dead.

Gail Wilson, 81, was last seen on Oct. 31. In an update on Thursday, police said the man's truck was seen traveling near downtown Denver that day and had rolled-up carpet, a tall white laundry basket and several black trash bags in the back. The items were dumped around Denver that day and likely contained the body of Wilson, police said.

On Thursday, Savannah Nicole Wilson, 24, was booked into Jefferson County Jail and is being held on suspicion of accessory to first-degree murder. Authorities confirmed Savannah is related to the victim but are still investigating the details of their relationship.

"I think we're still working on details of that family relationship," said Agent Paul Osckel, Lakewood PD spokesman. "I do know that Savannah is related to Mr. Wilson. As of right now, we're still working on those connections. So I don't want to give too much information on that.

Savannah Wilson

Ricardo Perez, 35, was arrested that same day and also brought to Jefferson County Jail. He is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder. Lakewood police are investigating the relationship between Savannah and Perez.

Ricardo Perez

Both suspects were in Jefferson County court Friday morning.

Police are still working to locate Gail Wilson's remains. His truck was recovered on Nov. 5 northwest of Interstate 25 and Colfax in Denver. There was no sign of him around the truck.

"One of the things that our investigators are really needing at this time is any surveillance," said Agent Osckel. "We're looking for any witnesses, any tips, any business videos that anybody feels like they want to go through or maybe remember seeing that red truck. That would assist us in locating those remains."

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Anybody with information or video evidence related to this case, including where the truck may have traveled on Oct. 31, is asked to call the Lakewood Police Department tip line at 303-763-6800.

When police issued the update on Thursday about the truck dumping items around Denver, one of Gail Wilson's daughters begged for help.

“I want whoever did this to my dad to be held accountable, and I just want to bring my dad home," said Gaylene Ward.

Ward says her father has been a strong influence in her life and a bedrock of their family.

“My dad was the most amazing, generous man I've ever known in my life,” she said. “My dad didn’t deserve this.”

She said Gail was supposed to come over for dinner on Halloween but he never showed up.

"From the get-go, I felt something was very, very wrong and it was confirmed. It was confirmed on Friday when they found the truck but not my dad, and it was confirmed when the arrests were made," she said.

"Our main priority right now and our main concern right now in this moment is to bring my dad home," Gaylene Ward added. "That is the plea that I'm going to continue to make until this is said and done. Anybody who saw the truck in that area where Lakewood police found out, saw them tossing anything, please — just say something. All we want is to bring him home."

Denver7's Liz Gelardi and Sydney Isenberg contributed to this story.