Pollard being held on suspicion of murder | SteamboatToday.com

Pollard being held on suspicion of murder

Cole Pollard

— Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins on Wednesday described a troubled young man who possibly made a series of decisions that ultimately led to the death of 22-year-old Patricia Richmond.

“We have received information during this investigation that he may have made some suicidal statements earlier,” Wiggins said. “He was having some issues with just life in general. He was unemployed. Just things were not going his way.”

Wiggins said Cole Pollard is being held on suspicion of first-degree homicide, felony murder, burglary and theft.

The motive for the crime still was not known, but Wiggins said it is possible Richmond was sexually assaulted.

“I feel comfortable we are going to be able to tie everything in and provide an explanation,” Wiggins said. “I still don’t think it’s going to make sense one way or another.”

A family member found Richmond Monday night, face down and tied up at the West family home on Lupine Court in North Routt County east of Clark. Wiggins said the last time she was seen by a family member was Monday morning.

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Richmond underwent an autopsy Wednesday, but her cause of death has not yet been determined. Wiggins said there was nothing to indicate Richmond had been shot.

The Sheriff’s Office early on identified Pollard as a person of interest in the case. Wiggins said a neighbor had seen a truck at the West home Monday, and deputies believed it possibly was Pollard’s, who is related to the Wests.

Richmond, a 2010 Soroco High School graduate, was engaged to 24-year-old Keith West, a 2009 Steamboat Springs High School graduate.

“Cole and Patricia’s fiancĂ©, Keith, were cousins and were fairly close,” Wiggins said. “It was kind of like one family unit, from what I understand. No indication of any issues between them.”

Deputies found that numerous items had been taken from the residence, including guns. Based upon where the items were taken from, investigators suspected the intruder was familiar with the West home.

After distributing a description of Pollard and his truck, the Sheriff’s Office received a tip from a citizen about 11 a.m. Tuesday reporting that a truck matching the description of Pollard’s vehicle was parked near Trappers Lake in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area.

Deputies investigated and found the license plates had been removed.

The Sheriff’s Office acquired a search warrant for the truck and seized the vehicle. It was later identified as Pollard’s.

The Sheriff’s Office received an arrest warrant for Pollard for burglary and theft. Rather than searching in the dark, law enforcement officers from several different agencies decided to wait until Wednesday morning to look for Pollard. He was apprehended at a campsite without incident about 11 a.m. Wednesday, and Wiggins said Pollard was cooperative with investigators. Numerous weapons were found at the campsite, but Pollard was taken into custody without incident.

“There was some communication with my deputies, and I can’t describe right now what that communication was,” Wiggins said.

Deputies then decided to hold Pollard on suspicion of murder.

Pollard was brought back to Routt County on Wednesday afternoon, and DNA samples were taken.

Pollard should be advised by a judge of the charges against Pollard at 1 p.m. Thursday.

Wiggins has said he believed Pollard had been living with his grandparents in Routt County. Wiggins had little information on Pollard’s background, except that he had lived in several states.

According to Pollard’s Facebook page, Pollard states he lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and is from Steamboat.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland