Travis Forbes: Kenia Monge's parents want answers from man charged in Lydia Tillman case
Update: The arrest of Travis Forbes for attempted murder, sexual assault and arson in the horrible case of Lydia Tillman has brought fresh attention to an equally troubling matter -- the April 1 disappearance of Kenia Monge, in which Forbes has described himself as a suspect. Now, Monge's parents are calling for Forbes to finally come clean about what he knows about her whereabouts.
Look below to see raw footage of Fox31's interview with Tony and Maria Lee, followed by our earlier coverage:
Original item, 2:04 p.m. July 12: On April 1, Kenia Monge, nineteen, disappeared after a night of clubbing, and she hasn't been seen since. Afterward, Travis Forbes described himself as a suspect but proclaimed his innocence. Now, however, he's been arrested for attempted murder in another case, this one involving arson and the assault of Fort Collins's Lydia Tillman.
Forbes has been in trouble with Fort Collins authorities before. When he was a teenager, he was reportedly arrested for breaking into sixteen homes and businesses there. Among the finds police made were several pairs of stolen panties, including two pairs with the letter "M" written on them with a marker and big rips presumably inflicted by Forbes.
In subsequent years, Forbes added more black marks to his record. In an interview with 9News, he admitted that he spent three years behind bars for burglary; according to him, he used to be a drug addict and would steal Demerol from dentist offices. More recent charges included shoplifting and driving on an expired license.
Still, he'd largely avoided public scrutiny until after the disappearance of Monge, a Cherry Hills High School graduate who managed to get into Denver's 24K nightclub despite being underage. Subsequent reports suggest that she left her cell phone and purse behind. Then she was seen walking with a homeless man, after which she was given a ride in a van by Forbes. He said he dropped off a drunk Monge at a gas station on the 500 block of Speer, where she left with a man of Asian descent -- and that's the last time anyone saw her.
Initial reports portrayed Forbes as a good Samaritan, but shortly thereafter, more suspicious info began to emerge. According to 7News, police searched his van, which appeared to have new carpeting, and went to a bakery where he rents space, reportedly to manufacture gluten-free granola bars called "Forbies." There, the owner told cops the security system in the space had been turned off that evening -- and video showed that Forbes had done so while wearing what looked like a latex glove. Additionally, an employee at a business next door said he saw several men burning something in a 55-gallon barrel behind the bakery late on April 1. Police grabbed a barrel and a yellow rubber glove as evidence. And then there was the large cooler Forbes was seen transporting into the bakery the next day. The Denver Post reported that it had a broken latch and was being held closed with duct tape.
Nonetheless, Forbes remained a free man -- until he was busted for alleged car theft in Texas in early May. But that charge didn't stick. After being extradited from Texas to Colorado, KWGN reported that the woman whose car he'd taken claimed she'd loaned it to him. She added that she didn't want to pursue charges against Forbes, who she called a friend.
As a result, Forbes was released from Jefferson County jail on June 30. But less than a week later, he allegedly committed a series of acts that wound up with him back behind bars.
According to the Fort Collins Police Department, officers and firefighters converged on an apartment at 1202 Pomona Street at around 5:30 a.m. on July 5 following reports of smoke. Police believe Forbes assaulted Tillman -- and poured bleach on her -- before setting the blaze. She had to jump from the second-story window in order to escape, and a week later, she's still in the hospital, recuperating from her injuries. She's said not to have known him prior to the attack.
The cops say Forbes became a person of interest after they learned of his presence in Fort Collins. He was arrested early Sunday on a false reporting charge unrelated to the Tillman matter, but over the course of the next couple of days, they developed enough information to arrest him on attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, arson, aggravated motor vehicle theft and sexual assault.
Thus far, no new information about Monge. Look below and page down to see Forbes's latest mug shot plus photos of Monge from the night of her disappearance and others collected on the Help Us Find Kenia Facebook page as shared by 48 Hours Mystery.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Edward and Linda Bryant: What happened to alleged scammers' kids, missing for years?"
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Denver, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.