DENVER – DENVER (AP) — Police say a man found dead in an apparent murder-suicide was a suspect — along with his father — in the disappearances of as many as 17 homeless men in Colorado during the 1980s.
Granby Police Chief William Housley identified him as Michael Rexford McCormick, 53, who was found shot dead with 38-year-old Michelle Lee Thompson-Larimer, of Parker, Colo. She was reported kidnapped Wednesday, and her vehicle was found abandoned at a gas station in Parker.
Parker Police Department spokeswoman Doreen Jokerst said Thompson-Larimer was last seen with McCormick, with whom she had a business and personal relationship.
Granby police and SWAT teams surrounded the home in Granby where McCormick's car was found Wednesday. After an all-night standoff, police broke a window in an attempt to contact the suspect to negotiate, and a single gunshot was heard. Police burst in and found the two dead.
Both had suffered gunshots to the head; McCormick's was self-inflicted. Housley said it appeared Thompson-Larimer died hours earlier.
In the 1980s, McCormick, and his father, Tom McCormick, who is now dead, were suspected in the disappearances of up to 17 homeless men recruited to work on their ranch.
Michael McCormick led investigators to four bodies and told authorities he thought at least six were buried at his family's ranch. He blamed his father for the deaths.
Michael McCormick started serving a life sentence for a conviction in 1987 in one death but won an appeal after arguing that his trial attorney was ineffective. He was to be retried but agreed to a plea deal in which he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. He was freed in 2006.
Housley said McCormick and Thompson-Larimer collaborated on buying, repairing and reselling foreclosed homes. He said some of their business ventures were stressed.