A 22-year-old man reportedly walked into the Powell police station midday Tuesday and informed law enforcement personnel that he had killed his girlfriend in Colorado. Jonathan E. Akin, of the Denver area, allegedly told police that her body was in his vehicle.
Powell officers reportedly found the woman in the trunk of the car that Akin brought to the law enforcement center — and police in Thornton, Colorado, say they found evidence of a crime at the apartment the couple shared there.
Thornton police did not name the deceased in a Wednesday afternoon news release, saying she had not yet been officially identified by the Adams County, Colorado, Coroner’s Office.
As for what brought Akin to the Powell area, Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt said Akin had traveled to a family member’s home in Deaver.
Akin was arrested at the Powell police station by agents with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation Tuesday afternoon. Thornton police say they have opened a first-degree murder investigation and have asked for Akin to be detained.
“We have enough probable cause to say that a warrant can be issued for the particular charge,” said Thornton Police Sgt. Ernie Lucero.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Akin remained in the Park County Detention Center in Cody. He’s awaiting an extradition hearing, where a judge will decide whether the suspect should be returned to Colorado for prosecution there; such hearings are typically a formality.
DCI agents initially arrested Akin on suspicion of disposing of a human body in a transient location (in this case, a vehicle) to conceal a crime. That’s a felony charge punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
However, Park County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Skoric said Wednesday that, with Colorado authorities pursuing a first-degree murder case, he does not plan to file any additional charges against Akin in Park County.
“The Colorado charges take priority over anything we would have on Mr. Akin here,” Skoric said, saying he wouldn’t want to hold up the prosecution of the murder.
When Akin was booked into the Park County Detention Center, the jail’s inmate roster listed him as being held on suspicion of “mutilation of dead body,” but that’s only because the section of state law that prohibits disposing of a human body has that caption; authorities said there is no indication that Akin mutilated his girlfriend’s body.
After Akin entered the police station and reported the killing, Powell officers contacted Thornton police and asked them to check the couple’s residence, in a complex known as the Champion’s Park Apartments.
Officers “confirmed there was a crime scene” at the residence, Sgt. Lucero said in a release.
Personnel from the Thornton Police Department and the Wyoming State Crime Lab drove up to Powell, arriving at the police station Tuesday evening; they worked all through the night and into the early morning hours Wednesday to process the evidence, Eckerdt said.
Authorities said the investigation into the homicide is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call the Thornton police tip line at 720-977-5069.