Authorities: Evidence stolen from father-son murder-suicide scene
Ryan Summerlin December 20, 2011
Father and son William Ahrold, 62, and Jackson Ahrold, 9, both of Denver, were identified Tuesday as the dead people found in van off the Trough Road on Dec. 17 after an apparent murder-suicide.
Authorities are also on the lookout for suspect(s) they said they have reason to believe broke into the van sometime between Dec. 9 and Dec. 17, after the deaths, and stole the gun involved in the incident along with other items.
Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson said he cannot discuss details of the evidence that leads investigators to believe the murder-suicide-theft scenario without jeopardizing the ongoing investigation.
At 12:04 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office was notified by a BLM law enforcement officer on patrol that two people were found dead in a white van just off the Trough Road, at the end of County Road 102. County Road 102 dead ends at a locked gate about a half mile from the Trough Road in an area sometimes referred to as Hartman Gulch, about 12 miles southwest of where the Trough Road leaves US Highway 9 south of Kremmling.
The van appeared to have been at the scene for several days, according to investigators.
According to a statement released by Johnson on Tuesday afternoon, both Ahrolds died from gunshot wounds and preliminary reports indicate it was a murder-suicide. He also said that the incident became complicated due to the person or persons who entered the scene prior to law enforcement discovery and stole the handgun owned by William Ahrold, as well as other items.
According to Johnson, forensics show that the gunshots were fired from a range consistent with murder-suicide. While there are additional complications to the case, investigators are 90 percent certain the father shot his son and then turned the gun on himself.
Johnson commented that investigators were completely taken back by what they saw at the scene.
There is no apparent motive for the murder-suicide at this time.
The father and son were last seen on Dec. 9 and were not reported as missing until Dec. 13, when the mother filed the initial report with the Denver Police Department.
Johnson said he is certain they were both killed at the scene, though because of circumstances and cold temperatures investigators do not know what day they died. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies are still following up on leads.