Carbondale homicide victim identified

Will Grandbois
This is the Toyota 4Runner that rear-ended an empty cattle truck just outside Carbondale on Monday. The accident prompted a homicide investigation when the driver told life flight crew later in the day that he had killed his wife shortly before the crash.


The accident

The discovery

The Garfield County coroner Thursday identified the victim in Carbondale’s first homicide in 12 years as 30-year-old Maria Carminda Portillo-Amaya.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation said the identification was made with the help of the Amaya family and a fingerprint test conducted by CBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

The sole suspect in the case, whose name was not released, remained under protective custody at St. Mary’s Hospital in the Grand Junction, where he was being treated for injuries suffered in an accident on Highway 133 near Carbondale on Monday.

According to police, the body was discovered after the man told the life flight crew transporting him to a Grand Junction hospital that he had killed his wife shortly before the crash.

A CBI news release said that the suspect and victim are believed to have known each other, but that the investigation has not yet determined their exact relationship.

The suspect was driving an SUV at about 7:15 a.m. Monday when, authorities say, he rear-ended an empty cattle truck just south of the city limits on Highway 133.

He was first taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, then flown to St. Mary’s. On that flight, he told workers of the killing.

After visiting several apartments Monday afternoon, police found a woman stabbed to death in an apartment just west of downtown and less than 2 miles from the accident site. Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire said Tuesday that the woman died from ”multiple sharp force injuries.”

A woman who let police into the apartment was a roommate of Portillo-Amaya.

The CBI said its Crime Scene Response team processed the suspected homicide scene — the apartment on Cooper Place — and had released it back to the residents.

CBI said its agents, the Carbondale Police Department and Homeland Security continued to investigate the case “while working in conjunction with the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office to determine the events leading up to Portillo-Amaya’s death.”

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