Friday, September 20, 2002
Steamboat Springs Chad Lee Anderson quit his job and left Hayden in August to look for employment elsewhere.
He was found dead last weekend in Grand Junction.
Anderson, 25, was robbed and shot to death along the banks of the Gunnison River Sept. 14.
Two of the three Utah residents suspected in the crime are in jail in Colby, Kan. The third suspect and suspected gunman, Robert Poulsen, committed suicide at the end of the trio's flight to northwestern Kansas.
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office thought Anderson was from Grand Junction before they learned his permanent address was in Hayden.
Anderson rented an apartment in Hayden and worked as a miner for Twentymile Coal Co.
Kim Coleman, human resource assistant with Twentymile Coal Co., said Anderson worked for the company a year before quitting in July.
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office determined Anderson was searching for a job in Grand Junction at the time of his murder.
"Some indications show he was in the area looking for employment," said Tanya Brechlin, spokeswoman with the Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's deputies had previously contacted Anderson. Deputies found him sleeping in his car Sept. 11 when they responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle. After determining Anderson was fine, they let him go.
Deputies responded to the same area three days later when a bicyclist reported a partially submerged truck in the river. Anderson's body was found covered with brush nearby.
Investigators determined Poulsen, 30, of American Fork, 26-year-old Ryan Schenck of Provo and 20-year-old Melissa Ricketts of Helper were robbing Anderson when Poulsen shot Anderson several times.
The three suspects abandoned their truck and stole Anderson's car before heading east on Interstate 70. Kansas police chased them Sunday night until a spike strip disabled the vehicle near Oakley.
Poulsen turned a handgun on himself when police came near the stolen vehicle.
Brechlin said Schenck and Ricketts are facing charges in Kansas, Colorado and Utah.
Poulsen, Schenck and Ricketts are thought to have stolen guns, bows and a Ford pickup from a home in Orangeville, Utah, before driving to Grand Junction.
An investigator from the Mesa County Sheriff's Office is in Kansas to assist the investigation.
Anderson did not leave Hayden immediately after he quit his job at Twentymile Coal Co. Hayden broker Jack Giessinger, who manages the property Anderson rented, said he did not realize his tenant had left. Anderson likely stayed until mid-August, he said.
"He just up and moved out in the middle of the night and never contacted me," Giessinger said.