by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — Walsenburg Police Chief James Chamberlain Tuesday confirmed the discovery of a deceased individual in the city Monday evening.
Chamberlain said two citizens found the dead man located in a vacant lot between the south alley and the railroad tracks in the 400 block of W. Fourth St., between 5:30 and 5:45 pm.
Officers were dispatched to the area and recovered a .380 chrome Cobra-model handgun from the scene. The victim has been identified as Joseph Gocha, 27. Chamberlain said Gocha lived about a block and a half from where his body was discovered.
Chamberlain said Gocha’s wife had reported him missing, “possibly on Sunday.” There were a number of Facebook postings made over the weekend regarding the victim being missing.
“There is nothing at all to suggest it was anything other than what it appeared to be – a self inflicted gunshot wound,” Chamberlain told the Huerfano World Journal Tuesday. He said the body would not be taken to the El Paso County Medical Examiner’s Office in Colorado Springs, which handles a majority of forensic death investigations and autopsies for the southern Colorado region.
Chamberlain did not say if any suicide note was found either at the scene or at the victim’s home.
Chamberlain did not indicate if any further investigation into the apparent suicide was ongoing.
Gary M. Vezzani was elected Walsenburg’s mayor in Tuesday’s special mayoral election/recall vote. Preliminary results announced Tuesday night show that both Nick Vigil in Ward