Police: Alcohol, not murder, may have led to Routt County woman’s death
March 18, 2013
Steamboat Springs — Investigators now think alcohol may have contributed to the death of Gillian "Jill" Gentile, a Yampa woman whose body was found in a Steamboat Springs hotel room Friday afternoon.
“At this point in the investigation, including preliminary autopsy results, police do not have any information that indicates homicide as the cause of death of Jill Gentile,” Chief Joel Rae said in a news release at 11:15 a.m. Monday.
An autopsy was performed Sunday, but it could take a month for toxicology results to come back. Rae said Monday that police found bottles of “hard alcohol” in Gentile’s hotel room.
Steamboat Springs Police Department officials say they interviewed Kendra Parker and Samuel Wisecup Jr. in Texas this weekend. Wisecup Jr. and Parker initially were considered persons of interest in Gentile’s death after police said they had surveillance video footage of the two leaving the hotel about three hours before Gentile’s body was found hunched over a garbage can by a maid.
Police originally had said Gentile's death was being investigated as a homicide. Officers still haven’t ruled out that possibility.
Wisecup Jr. and Parker are accused of stealing Gentile’s car and driving to Texas, where police tracked them to an Amarillo hotel. They were arrested on suspicion of aggravated motor vehicle theft and were being held in an Amarillo jail. It’s not yet clear why Wisecup Jr. and Parker drove to Texas in Gentile’s car. Rae said police executed a search warrant on the car in Amarillo over the weekend.
It is not believed Parker and Wisecup Jr. have been brought back to Routt County. Their bails have both been set at $10,000.
On Saturday, friends of Gentile's told the Steamboat Today that she was caught up in a love triangle with Wisecup Jr. and Parker. Alfred Valenti said Gentile called him late last week and said she and Wisecup Jr. were drunk at a hotel, and that she needed Valenti's help to mislead Wisecup's girlfriend about a relationship the two were having.
Police say the investigation remains active and that a final cause of death likely won’t be determined until toxicology results are known. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 970-879-1144.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com