Residential Fire in Armel Claims Two Lives

December 13, 2018 – On Tuesday, December 11th at approximately 1:50 pm the Armel Fire Department, Idalia Fire Department, and Yuma County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a residential structure fire in the area of County Roads 18 and RR. Although fire crews responded to the scene within minutes of the call, the structure was a total loss.

After deputies on scene received information that indicated there were two people who resided at the residence, measures were taken to secure the scene for investigatory purposes. With the assistance of investigators from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, and Forensic Anthropologists from NecroSearch International, the remains of two individuals were located within the remains of the structure.

Investigators were able to determine that the origin of the fire occurred in a back bedroom of the residence, however, the exact manner and cause for the fire are undetermined and remain under investigation. Preliminarily, this case is being treated as a possible homicide, suicide, and arson, however, final determination cannot be made until a laboratory analysis of evidence collected on scene can be conducted. The Sheriff’s Office does not have any reason to be concerned that there is any ongoing threat to the community, or that any suspect is outstanding.

The identities of the deceased individuals are not being released at this time due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, and until which time next of kin can be notified. Anyone with information relating to this case is encouraged to contact the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office and reference case number 18239.

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Charlotte Ritchey

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Michael Walker

"Thank you, Yuma County Sheriff! Sure looks like you all have been working hard and over time protecting your citizens. You are appreciated."

Brandy Ward