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Summit County remembers tattoo artist

Jonathan Batuello
Summit County, CO Colorado
Eric Drummond/Summit DailyAs the sun sets at Sapphire Point Saturday, Tiffany Blatnick shows a piece created by Kauri Tiyme.
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SUMMIT COUNTY ” A light breeze took the ash from Tonda Sublett’s cigarette as she thanked everyone for coming out to celebrate the life of their departed friend and former Breckenridge tattoo artist, Kauri Tiyme.

Tiyme, 39, was allegedly murdered on Oct. 18 in a Marriott hotel room in Denver. The lead suspect is her ex-husband, Keenu Tiyme. Keenu says he killed her as part of a suicide-pact, according to a Denver Police arrest affidavit.

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colorado – A light breeze took the ash from Tonda Sublett’s cigarette as she thanked everyone for coming out to celebrate the life of their departed friend and former Breckenridge , Colorado tattoo artist, Kauri Tiyme.

Tiyme, 39, was allegedly murdered on Oct. 18 in a Marriott hotel room in Denver. The lead suspect is her ex-husband, Keenu Tiyme. Keenu says he killed her as part of a suicide-pact, according to a Denver Police arrest affidavit.

On Saturday, the serene setting at Sapphire Point welcomed a handful of people who stood in a circle describing the woman that had left her mark on them, physically and emotionally.

The adjectives used by friends to describe her included words like beautiful, wonderful, sweet, smart, but most importantly, unique.

“There was nobody like her and she wasn’t afraid to be herself,” said Martin Greene, who knew Tiyme for two years and had three tattoo sessions with her. “She was really good too, and she knew that. She just had this air of confidence about her.”

Tiyme traveled the country before coming to Summit County, where she established Breckenridge Body Art. She was renowned for her tattoo work and strived to make every tattoo fit the individual she was working on.

“I was getting this tattoo done by her and these two girls walk in and asked ‘Where are the pictures of the tattoos?’ and Kauri sets the tattoo needle down and gets up and goes, ‘Excuse me, but we only do custom tattoos. This is not a McDonald’s,'” said Tommy Miller, who had multiple tattoos done by Tiyme. “I just was thinking ‘Oh my God, she dissed these chicks.’ Then she came back and picked up the needle and starts to work, but then stops and just starts cracking up.”

Tiyme’s ability with a tattoo gun wasn’t the only thing that gave everyone total confidence as she touched their skin. Multiple people described the aura surrounding her and that they fell asleep as she tattooed them because of how relaxed they felt in her hands.

“She is the only one I let free-hand,” said Tom Stanish, who knew Tiyme for three years. “I had total faith in her work and as soon as she first touched your skin she knew what she was going to do.”

How she delved into people’s souls and made them feel like they were the only one in the room seems to be her most lasting impression.

“We were born with that art and it was supposed to be there. Everything she did was supposed to be there … ,” Sublett said. “There are so many things that could be said about this person that touched all of our lives.”

Keenu Tiyme, who was arrested on Oct. 22, near Maxwell, New Mexico, is due in court for a preliminary hearing Dec. 29.

Jonathan Batuello can be reached at (970) 668-4653 or at jbatuello@summitdaily.com.


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