The murder took place on Halloween night.
And police accounts of what happened are genuinely horrifying — so much so that we need to issue an advance warning.
Some readers (make that most readers) will find the details to be disturbing
Richard Darling, 34, is accused of murdering Rey Pesina, then dismembering and "filleting" his body before putting it in a barrel and setting it ablaze.
Around 10:35 p.m. on October 31, according to the Aurora Police Department, officers were dispatched to a field along the Toll Gate Creek between Interstate 225 and North Potomac Street — an area where assorted homeless people had been camping.
The report: a homicide.
Upon their arrival, officers "located an adult deceased party," the APD announced in its initial release, adding that an adult male was subsequently taken into custody on an unrelated warrant. However, that man, later identified as Darling, was considered a person of interest in the slaying, and on November 3, his arrest for first-degree murder was announced.
The documents reveal that the body of the "adult deceased party," Pesina, was found inside a burning 55-gallon drum. They were directed to it by a woman named Candace Chamberlain, who told police she'd had sexual relationships with both men.
Another woman, Lenora Cole, who called herself Darling's wife, also witnessed what went down and recapped the events in startling detail.
Cole maintained that after Darling found out about Pesina's dalliances with Chamberlain, the two men began fighting. The scrap soon turned lethal, with Darling allegedly shooting Pesina in the head.
What happened next? The arrest report reads in part: "Ms. Cole advised she then observed Richard Alan Darling repeatedly striking the neck of Rey Pesina's torso, which was missing the arms and legs, severing his head from his torso. Ms. Cole described Richard Alan Darling as 'filleting' the body, and striking the head with a hatchet after it was severed from the torso."
Next, Darling is said to have told Cole to get rid of Pesina's head — something she insists that she refused to do.
Nonetheless, it appears that the head wasn't immediately recovered — but plenty of other body parts were. The drum contained a variety of bones, including a scapula and part of a spinal column, and officers on the scene came upon chunks of tissue and "a piece of tattooed skin floating in the water." And they later connected Darling to a .22-caliber rifle, among other items.
Darling is currently being held without bond in the Arapahoe County Jail. Look below to take a larger look at his booking photo, followed by Fox31's piece on the crime.
Aurora Police Department