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Shooting suspect in custody after fatal traffic crash in Chaffee County

WALSENBURG — All four suspects believed to have been involved in an early morning robbery and shooting in Walsenburg November 10, have been identified, with two currently in custody, one dead as a result of a car crash, and, as of earlier this week, one still a fugitive from justice. Walsenburg Police Captain Vince Suarez and Sgt. John Salazar began their investigation following the shooting of 35-year old Daniel Montez at his residence at 808 W. Seventh St., in Walsenburg Tuesday, Nov. 10. The shooting happened shortly after 2:30 am and investigators worked throughout the day and into the following days with information provided by witnesses, through tips, and information from various law enforcement agencies. Walsenburg police have worked with the Alamosa Police Department, the state parole office, the Colorado State Patrol, and Colorado Bureau of Investigation to obtain details related to their case. Thirty-four-year old William Marquez of Alamosa is currently in custody in Chaffee County, Colo., following a 6:30 am November 11 car crash on Chaffee County Road 191, about one half mile south of CO Hwy. 291. The Colorado State Patrol reports a vehicle suspected to have been stolen in a home invasion in Alamosa was northbound on the county road with Marquez at the wheel when he failed to negotiate a right hand curve. The red 1996 BMW 281, went off the left hand side of the roadway and rolled three times. The right front passenger, Melissa Jaramillo, 33, of Littleton, CO, was not wearing seatbelts and was ejected from the car and pronounced

dead at the scene by the Chaffee County Coroner. Walsenburg police say it was Marquez and Jaramillo who entered Montez’s home during the early morning hours of the 10th and after a short confrontation shot him three times. Police say Montez was shot twice in the abdomen and once in the shoulder. Walsenburg police say they suspect Eustaquio Poinciana Valenzuela, 35, and Angelo Espinoza, 31, who fled the accident scene in Chaffee County, waited in a car as Marquez and Jaramillo entered Montez’s home on November 10th. Marquez also fled the accident scene in Chaffee County but was later located and taken into custody. Espinoza is in custody in Alamosa County and Valenzuela was considered at large. Alamosa Police Chief Duane Oakes said Alamosa police arrested Espinoza on Thursday night, but not for the November 10th robbery. Oakes said Espinoza was arrested on two unassociated warrants and that he is being held in the Alamosa jail. Local investigators believe after the robbery and shooting in Walsenburg, the four went back to the San Luis Valley where they are suspected in taking part in a home invasion. Alamosa police responded to a residence in the 1200 block of Ross Avenue (Alamosa) where two suspects, one of whom was armed with a handgun, forced their way into a 79-year-old resident’s home, forced him to the floor and allegedly stole electronics and the victim’s 1996 red BMW sedan. Alamosa authorities have impounded a vehicle thought to have been used in the robbery and shooting in Walsenburg, and will search that vehicle under a search warrant issued in the Walsenburg police department case. After putting the various pieces of information together, Suarez and Salazar interviewed Montez in the hospital in Denver armed with a photographic line-up, which included a picture of Marquez. Montez identified him as the person who shot and robbed him. Police say jewelry, marijuana, and a shotgun were stolen from Montez by Marquez and Jaramillo and they say the pair were in the victim’s home for a very short time before shooting the victim, robbing his home and fleeing. Another person in the Montez home at the time of the incident also identified the suspects in the photo layout. Montez allegedly told police he had met Marquez at least twice since July, but did not offer any details of their meetings or any kind of ongoing association between the two. It was in July 2015 Marquez allegedly walked away from a halfway house and was considered an escapee by the state parole office. Marquez faces charges in Chaffee County regarding the fatal car crash, for criminal impersonation and other felonies related to lying to investigators there. He faces charges in Huerfano County for attempted second degree murder, first degree assault, robbery, menacing, theft and possession of a weapon by a prior offender. Alamosa authorities continue their investigation regarding the home invasion and felony auto theft, and also have charges against Marquez, along with the Colorado Department of Corrections, for his alleged escape. Suarez said Marquez has an extensive criminal history dating back to 2000. Records indicate Marquez has been arrested 26 times for felonies and misdemeanors, including arrests in the Denver metro area, Alamosa and Trinidad. His last two arrests, prior to the latests incidents in Alamosa, Chaffee, and Huerfano counties, occurred in Trinidad. He was charged in that city in his 24th arrest for second degree kidnapping, robbery and second degree assault. In his 25th arrest, also in Trinidad, Marquez was charged with robbery. The various investigations continue and Walsenburg authorities did not know when the suspect might be transferred to the Huerfano County Jail.