Man arrested in campsite murder case
Daily Staff Writer
EAGLE COUNTY ” Charles Anthony Gross, 55, was arrested Monday afternoon while walking along the Colorado River and charged on suspicion of the murder of 38-year-old Gypsum resident Maria Madrid, Eagle County Sheriff’s Capt. Bill Kaufman said.
Deputies found Gross around 3:15 p.m. after receiving a phone call from an unidentified individual who reported a suspicious man walking along the Colorado River Road north of Dotsero. The caller said Gross matched the description of the suspect wanted in connection with the killing of Madrid at a campsite Friday.
Kaufman said police have few details about Gross, who appeared to have been living in a camper attached to a truck that has also been recovered by police. The truck had an arc-welder in the bed, Kaufman said.
“Our suspicion is that he was living out of a trailer,” said Kaufman, adding authorities are not yet sure how the man made a living.
After questioning, police arrested Gross and charged him with second degree murder, a class two felony. Gross is being held in the Eagle County jail on $1 million bail, Kaufman said.
Madrid, who came to the valley from Mexico in 1992, was killed Friday night after a man opened fire on her family, including her husband Eliseo and their 14-year-old son Joel Madrid, as they prepared to leave the campsite they were sharing with the man. The Madrids had traveled to the campsite about two miles north of Dotsero for a family picnic.
As they got in their pickup truck to leave the site, Eliseo said, a man approached them and accused the family of not picking up their trash.
“Maria didn’t get a good feeling about the guy,” Eliseo said. “She wanted to leave.”
Eliseo said he told the man that they had cleaned up, then he tried to drive away. Eliseo said he started to back up, then the man pulled a handgun from his pocket and started firing into the truck.
“I thought he would kill us all,” Eliseo said. “I ran. I didn’t have a gun. I couldn’t fight, so I pushed on the gas, and I ran.”
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