Nate Tallman murder a pot deal gone wrong? Russell Britton, Moises Mendez busted (45)
It started as a missing persons case. But well over a month later, Lafayette resident Nate Tallman's body was discovered a long way from home -- outside Lusk, a town in Wyoming.
Now, two men -- Russell Britton, 58, and Moises Mendez, 26 -- have been arrested in connection with the crime, with the latter having been taken into custody at the U.S.-Mexico border. And the latest information suggests that the killing took place over a deal for marijuana. Here's what we know so far.
The 25-year-old Tallman has been described as a former high school baseball star who'd been working for his father and had just purchased a new car.
His Facebook page sports plenty of portraits with a baseball theme, including this one....
...and this one:
There are a couple of marijuana references, too, include this shot of wrist bands for last year's High Times Cannabis Cup....
...but absolutely nothing out of the ordinary.
Then, out of the blue, Tallman vanished on January 21. According to an arrest affidavit accessed by 9News, he left to complete a "marijuana transaction" with Britton, but never returned.
After reporting Tallman missing on January 23, his family launched a Facebook page as part of the quest for information about his whereabouts. Included are graphics like this one:
The reward being offered for information reached $10,000 thanks to generous donations tracked on a GoFundMe page.
Weeks passed with no information, and searches turned up nothing. But then, a discovery precipitated everyone's worst fears coming true.
Continue for more about the arrests in Nate Tallman's death, including more photos and video. Last Thursday, as 7News reports, a body was found in Lusk, located in eastern Wyoming.
It was subsequently identified as Tallman.
In short order, Britton was arrested. He'd been under scrutiny from the early on, in part because of phone records that showed multiple conversations with Tallman, whose mobile phone is said to have pinged off a cell tower near Britton's home in Larimer county.
Other evidence was derived from Tallman's vehicle, which was recovered in mid-February, and Britton's van. Blood detected in the latter allegedly matches Tallman's DNA profile.
Less clear is the association of Mendez. All we know thus far is that he's being held at a San Diego detention facility after being busted by the U.S. Border Patrol on Saturday.
However, he has what the Boulder Daily Camera calls an extensive record, ranging from DUI to assault and menacing.
For his part, Britton has arrests for forgery and a misdemeanor contempt of court beef, but no recent run-ins with the law. The latest interaction goes all the way back to 1999.
Our condolences to Tallman's friends, family and loved ones.
Look below to see Britton's booking photo, followed by a 9News report about the latest developments.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Mile High Murder archives circa March 17: "Thomas LaPerch busted after arson call turns into homicide investigation (44)."
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