Wednesday welfare check reveals murder-suicide


A welfare check conducted by Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) Wednesday revealed a murder-suicide in the Hatcher Lake area.

The names of the deceased individuals have not been release pending autopsies scheduled to be conducted Friday in Durango.

“On March 14, yesterday, the sheriff’s department was called to do a welfare check on two individuals who lived in the Hatcher area due to not having been seen in several weeks,” said Undersheriff Tonya Hamilton.

Hamilton explained that permission was granted to enter the residence from the owner, and upon entering, ACSO personnel discovered two bodies in a bedroom on the north side of the house.

Coroner Dan Keuning was notified and death was pronounced at 5:40 p.m. on March 14, Hamilton reported.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was notified, Hamilton explained, and a CBI agent who was in town did a preliminary walk-through with ACSO personnel.

A crime scene team from CBI arrived Thursday to collect evidence and photographs and give the ACSO another set of eyes on the scene, she noted.

It was determined late Friday afternoon that a male had shot a female before shooting himself.

“There was a note left on scene and some journal writings that helped lend credibility to our findings,” Hamilton said.

No missing persons report had been filed on either individual, and the last known contact that the ACSO could find was Feb. 25, Hamilton explained.

Autopsies, which are required in all homicide cases, are scheduled for Friday morning in Durango.