Suspected rapist dies of apparent suicide | PostIndependent.com

Suspected rapist dies of apparent suicide

Dennis WebbPost Independent Staff

A former Glenwood Springs real estate agent suspected of being a serial rapist died of an apparent suicide in Boulder County Jail Wednesday. Bradford Thomas Wagner, 37, was discovered hanging from his bunk shortly before 11 a.m. by a jail deputy conducting a routine security check, according to a news release from the Boulder County Sheriffs Office. Wagner was being held at the jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond. He faced several sexual assault charges in Boulder County, and additional sexual assault charges in Lakewood and in Austin, Texas.Wagner was arrested at his home office on the 1300 block of Grand Avenue on June 11, 2004, after DNA collected unknowingly from Wagner by Boulder investigators allegedly matched a DNA profile developed by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Taking advantage of recent technological advances, police were able to obtain DNA from Wagners handshake, bicycle handlebars and doorknob and compare it to DNA from victims sexual assault kits created in the mid-1990s.Wagner had begun working as a real estate agent in Glenwood Springs shortly before his arrest.The Boulder County Coroners Office was conducting an autopsy on Wagner Wednesday and will rule later on the cause of death.The sheriffs office reported that Wagner had apparently fashioned a crude noose with a sheet from his bunk. Upon finding Wagner, the deputy sought help from other officers and the jails nursing staff. They attempted to resuscitate him, but he never regained consciousness.He was pronounced dead on arrival at Boulder Community Hospital.Lt. Phil West of the sheriffs office said Wagner had given no indication of being suicidal and wasnt under any kind of suicide watch or precautions.From my discussions with jail staff … he was considered a model inmate, West said.West said he understood Wagner was scheduled for a court hearing today.Wagner was a suspect in five rapes in Boulder between 1993 and 1998. The Texas case dated back to 1995.Wagner was being held in the close security section of the jail, which is designed for medium- and high-risk offenders. He had been at the jail since his arrest in Glenwood Springs.Authorities say there have been five deaths by suicide at the Boulder County Jail since the current facility opened in 1988. Four were by hanging.After an inmate hanged himself by suspending a sheet from a vent grate in his cell wall in December, jail officials bolted screens to the grates to try to prevent other inmates from doing the same thing.


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