Denver pair arrested in Edwards death; male, female suspects hid but were quickly caught
This story has been updated since authorities have released the name of the victim.
EDWARDS — An Edwards resident is dead and two Denver people are in jail in connection with it.
Jacob Taylor White, 23, and Leigha Page Ackerson, 24, both from Denver, are in custody following a home invasion and death in the Pilgrim Downs neighborhood of Edwards.
Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis on Friday, Jan. 26 identified the victim as Catherine Kelley, 74, of Edwards. Following an autopsy, Bettis ruled the cause of death as strangulation and the manner of death as homicide.
‘Shelter in place’
An emergency call came in around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, from the Pilgrim Downs neighborhood. Deputies responded to the possible home invasion.
While checking the home for suspects, the victim’s body was found, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Moments after arriving at the scene, law enforcement cordoned off the area, sent an alert warning Lake Creek residents to stay inside, or “shelter in place,” and began a systematic search. Officers from a half dozen agencies took part, as well as the Eagle River Fire Protection District, which provided boom trucks and lights to help with the search.
White and Ackerson were hiding, but not far away.
As deputies and other law enforcement began to close in on them, as well as a tracking dog from the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, White and Ackerson decided they’d had enough and gave themselves up, less than two hours after the initial emergency call.
‘No Longer a Threat’
They were taken into custody and transported to the Eagle County jail, said Amber Barrett, community affairs deputy with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.
“We want to assure our community that though this is a traumatic event, the suspects are in custody and are no longer a threat,” Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek said.
“I am very proud and appreciative of our community and their patience during this time, as well as the professionalism of the Eagle County deputies and all our partners, including the Mesa and Summit County sheriff’s offices and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.”
The case is still under investigation, van Beek said. Investigators from several agencies, as well as the State Patrol and Colorado Bureau of Investigation, spent all day Thursday at the scene.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.