As its name indicates, Loveland is known much more for affection than violence.
Yet in July, Stephanie Smith was stabbed to death in town by a man found to have acted in self-defense; months later, Casey Albee was charged with trying to kill him during the same incident. And this week, 42-year-old Christina Gray was found dead -- and Loveland police have now launched a homicide investigation. Details and an interactive graphic below.
On the afternoon of December 18, according to the Loveland Police Department, the LPD dispatcher received from a call from woman who'd been asked to check on Gray by someone concerned about her welfare.
A short time later, this woman and a friend visited Gray's home on the 1500 block of North Jefferson Avenue and made a grisly discovery: Gray was dead.
By 3:11 p.m., officers had been dispatched to an address specified by the Loveland Reporter-Herald as 1512 North Jefferson. The residence is captured in the following interactive graphic; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
Detectives from the department's criminal investigation unit soon joined their colleagues, and by the following day, a homicide inquiry was officially underway.
One reason: The Larimer County coroner determined that Gray's cause of death was blunt-force head injuries and strangulation.
Investigators are said to have "no credible information lending credence to a generalized threat to the community." This statement implies that the cops have a suspect in mind, as does the one that follows: "Loveland Police are confident that the person or persons responsible for this crime will be identified and taken into custody as promptly as possible."
At this writing, no announcement about an arrest has been made, and the LPD continues to ask anyone with information about the crime to contact the department's tip line at 970-962-2032. In the meantime, our sincere condolences to Gray's friends, family and loved ones.
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa November: "Casey Albee charged with stabbing man who killed Stephanie Smith in self-defense."