Colorado Triple Homicide, Family Friend Arrested

By: Tina Volpe - March 11, 2014

On Sunday night in Cañon City, Colorado, a mother and her two young children were murdered in their home. The suspect is a 31-year old friend of the family, and thought to be the mother’s boyfriend.

The suspect, Jaacob Harding Vanwinkle, has been arrested and is being held for the deaths of the Cañon City woman and her two children.

The suspect is described as a family friend of the victims, said Sgt. Shannon Byerly, a Cañon City Police Department spokesman.

Police have not identified the 35-year-old mother and her children, a 5-year-old boy and 9-year-old girl. However, another daughter escaped murder, but was allegedly sexually assaulted by Vanwinkle, Byerly said.

The teenage daughter got away from the suspect, fleeing the home Sunday evening and making it to a neighbor’s house. They eventually called the police to the scene.

The suspect was taken into custody without incident at the home where the bodies were found, Byerly said.

Vanwinkle has been arrested on suspicion of three counts of first-degree murder, three counts of kidnapping, sexual assault, and sexual assault on a child by a person in position of trust. He was informed of the charges after his arrest, police said.

The teenager was taken to a local hospital, treated, and released.

The victims will undergo an autopsy this Tuesday.

The local school staff brought grief counselors to area schools for friends and teachers of the children, police said.

The Denver Post reported that Vanwinkle was sentenced in 2004 to four years in prison in Indiana for child molestation and vicarious sexual gratification. He received a two-year term in 2007 in Indiana for child molestation and, in 2012, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence in Fremont County, Colorado, where Cañon City is located.

Image via NDN

Tina Volpe

About the Author

Tina VolpeTina Volpe is an author, freelance writer and a college student. She loves spending time with her rescued feathered and furry friends... cooking Italian food, reading, writing, hiking and dreams of a huge animal sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+

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  • http://yahoo.com/ Dandi

    Nice job, mommy. Kids in the same house with a monster like that? OMG. Prior to entering into ANY kind of a relationship with a man, use our new technology; you know, like a computer…? That way, you MIGHT, if you use your brain, make a more informed decision on whether you want this person to be around your children. Jesus, my heart hurts for children stuck in situations that their mothers put them in.

  • Dbray

    Im guessing Mommy found out that wasnt the first attack on her teenager and when confronted he went ape nuts. I agree with Teri all the way..Mommys look into yoru boyfriends history especially if you got kids. Your not being a snoop, your being careful.

  • Lisa Tk

    when morals go out the window, this is the kind of stuff that happens. Seriously, why are so many people not raising their own biological children? Where is the father of these kids? If mom and dad had been married and loved their kids enough to stay married and work through their problems, this monster would have never been in the picture. So tired of reading about dumb parents shacking up with anything with a pulse and then stuff like this happening. Time to get back to the core family structure in which kids thrived, aka, mom and dad, together for life, raising their own kids together.

  • ray

    What was this guy doing running loose! Another failure on the part of lawyers!

  • Amy in TX

    This is SO incredibly tragic, the innocent lost lives from a COMPLETE pedophile that squeezed through the justice system that FAILS repeatedly!!!!!! And an ignorant Mother that doesn’t do a background check on a boyfriend, especially when she had 3 innocent children….Mothers nowadays really are so ignorant, shacking up with complete strangers that obviously have criminal records from state-to-state!! WOW! Mothers, let this be a wake up call to pay a few dollars on line to do a background check on ANY man that you even date—especially if you are going to live with him!!! OMG—This day and age I am extremely careful of everything I do and who I hang out with, especially for my children. I am learning that there are SO MANY men that want young girls in a sexual fashion—it is just DISGUSTING!! So many boys, raised all screwed up without a good male role model, end up to be criminals and pedophiles later on….praying upon women throughout the world and desiring young girls, is just VILE!!!! I am so glad I am married for almost 20 years to an amazing man, with 6 kids and don’t have to deal with all the disgusting and desperate pedophiles out there just ‘roaming’ the streets AND ‘roaming’ the INTERNET!!!!!!! WAKE UP WOMEN!!!