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Sheriff, coroner identify Edwards’ homicide victim as Catherine Kelley

January 26, 2018, 2:28 pm

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office on Friday identified the victim of Wednesday’s apparent home invasion in the Pilgrim Downs neighborhood of Edwards as 74-year-old Catherine Kelley.

Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis also announced the cause of death as strangulation.

eagle county sheriff logoTwo suspects — Jacob Taylor White, 23, and Leigha Page Ackerson, 24, both of Denver — were arrested Wednesday and are being held at the Eagle County Detention Center.

Here’s Friday’s official release from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office:

Homicide victim identified

On January 26, 2018, Eagle County Coroner Kara Bettis positively identified the victim in Wednesday’s home invasion and death as Catherine Kelley, 74, of Edwards. Following an autopsy conducted Thursday, Bettis has ruled the cause of death as strangulation and the manner of death as homicide.

The incident was reported at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 24. Two suspects were taken into custody at the time of the incident.

The suspects were identified as Jacob Taylor White, 23, and Leigha Page Ackerson, 24, both of Denver. Both suspects are being held at the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office Detention Facility with a no bond hold.

Formal charges are scheduled to be filed no later than February 9, 2018 and it is expected that both suspects are facing charges that will include of 1stDegree Murder a class 1 felony and 1st Degree Burglary a class 3 felony.

If convicted of 1st Degree Murder, they could in prison without parole.

If convicted of 1st Degree burglary the sentence ranges from 8 to 24 years in prison.

“While we understand that this is a very traumatic event for family and friends of the victim and our whole community, We want to be as transparent as possible while still upholding the integrity of the investigation, as well of the rights of the victims therefore we limited what information could be publicly released until this afternoon..” Stated Sheriff James Van Beek, after today’s advisements hearing.

The matter is still under investigation and all suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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