Body found in river near New Castle linked to pickup theft |

Body found in river near New Castle linked to pickup theft

A body found Saturday in the Colorado River is thought to be that of a vehicle thief who crashed the stolen pickup truck and fled on Dec. 19, disappearing near the river, Garfield County authorities said Monday.

The body was spotted at about 3:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve west of New Castle near an office building, Garfield County sheriff’s spokesman Walt Stowe said in a news release.

A search and rescue team had retrieved the body by 5:30 p.m.

The news release said the body was believed to be related to the incident Dec. 19 at Exit 109 on Interstate 70. Deputies there found  a Honda Ridgeline that had been stolen from a driveway off of U.S. 6.

“The Honda was driven over the interstate and subsequently crashed into the gate/fence of an adjoining pasture,” the release said.

Deputies were able to track the suspect to the river bank with a dog but lost the trail that night. Deputies went back to the area Dec. 20 and found a wallet, clothing, pools of blood and tracks leading to the river.

Search and rescue workers searched for the person on Wednesday, finding a bloody knife in the same area of the blood and clothing. They searched both sides of the river with specially trained dogs that indicated that the suspect’s body was probably still in the river.

The Garfield County coroner had not released the dead person’s identity as of Monday evening.

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