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Colorado triple homicide: 'Family friend' arrested in triple homicide case

Canon City, Colorado
Canon City, Colorado
Arkyan/Wikimedia Commons

A Colorado triple homicide claimed the lives of a 35-year-old mother woman and her two children. On March 10, Yahoo! News reported that a 31-year-old "family friend" has been arrested in connection with the homicide case. The woman's teenage daughter was able to escape from the home and run to a neighbor's house for help -- this is what led police to the arrest of Jaacob Vanwinkle. He has been charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault.

"The victims included a 5-year-old boy, a 9-year-old girl and their 35-year-old mother, who were found in a home in Canon City, about 115 miles south of Denver," reports Yahoo! News.

The Colorado triple homicide wasn't Vanwinkle's first brush with crime either. Back in 2004 he went to prison for four years after being convicted on child molestation and vicarious sexual gratification charges. In 2007, he did two more years for child molestation and in 2012 he "pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence." Many feel that someone with this serious of a rap sheet should not have been walking the streets a "free man."

The 15-year-old girl told neighbors that she was sexually assaulted by Vanwinkle. Police Sgt. Shannon Byerly confirmed that the girl had been raped. Police were responding to the assault call when they went to the girl's home and found her mother, brother, and sister murdered. Vanwinkle was at the house and was promptly arrested.

The Colorado triple homicide could see Vanwinkle facing the death penalty if he's convicted. Vanwinkle was described as a "family friend."

© Effie Orfanides 2014

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