Friday, January 19, 2018

2017 Was a Year of Cold Case Closure for CBI

2017 was a big year for the CBI involving Cold Cases.

CBI staff manage Colorado's Cold Case database and work directly with law enforcement in hopes of shedding new light on cases where the trail has gone cold. Agents and forensic scientists investigate cold cases across the state -- some that are decades old, such as the Rocky Ford cold case where two teenage girls went missing 35 years ago.

Their aim is to get justice for the victims and closure for victims families, and the ultimate desired outcome is to achieve the arrest and conviction of those responsible. In 2017, CBI's work paid off in two big cases.

In December 2017, the work of CBI Investigations and Forensic Services in Pueblo helped secure the conviction of the murderer of Michael Rust, a man who disappeared in 2009 near the town of Saguache.
In January 2016, the remains of Rust were located in Saguache County. An investigation by CBI and partner agencies led to the identification of Charles Moises Gonzales (age 47), as the suspect believed to have killed Rust and buried the remains. CBI agents determined Gonzales burglarized Rust's home and shot Rust in the back of the head on March 31, 2009.
On Dec. 7, 2017, Gonzales was convicted in Saguache District court of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, felony murder, theft under $500, abuse of a corpse, and tampering or destroying evidence in Rust's case. Gonzales was sentenced to life without parole.

CBI's work also contributed to an arrest in the case of Kelsie Schelling, who disappeared in 2013 at the age of 22. She was last seen on February 4, 2013, after traveling from her home in Denver to Pueblo, where her boyfriend (Lucas) lived.

Following CBI-led searches of the Pueblo area for Kelsie’s remains in late November, Donthe Lucas was arrested on Dec. 1, 2017, in connection with the disappearance and death of Schelling. Lucas, 25, was arrested for first-degree murder for his alleged connection to the homicide of Schelling. Lucas is being held without bond. He was already in custody on an unrelated charge (robbery) when CBI Pueblo agents and Pueblo Police detectives arrested him for his alleged role in Schelling’s death.

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