Crime

Affidavit: Cole Pollard Strangled Patricia Richmond, Then Raped Her


Update: During our last item about the shocking death of Patricia Richmond, we noted that person-of-interest Cole Pollard, 21, had been taken into custody — but because the announcement about the manner in which Richmond died were pending, homicide charges had not yet been pressed against him. See our previous coverage below.

Things have changed plenty since then. This morning at 8:45 a.m., Pollard is scheduled to appear in Routt County court regarding his reported confession about his role in Richmond's slaying.

He allegedly admitted to strangling Richmond, then raping her after she lost her life.

Among the first news agencies to share this startling development was the Steamboat Pilot, which quotes from an affidavit claiming that Pollard "snapped" while in the presence of Richmond at a home owned by the parents of her fiance, Keith West — one of his cousins.

Pollard didn't explain what he meant by saying he snapped, the Pilot notes, but he acknowledged that the attack on Richmond was unprovoked.

After Pollard "choked Trish to death," the affidavit continues, he tied her up, sexually assaulted her and left the residence with several belongings.


Among the items said to have been missing after he left were money, a rifle and a samurai sword.

Here's how 7News breaks down the allegations against Pollard:
Count One: First-degree murder, a class-one felony, alleging the intentional and premeditated killing of Richmond.

Count Two: First-degree murder, a class-one felony, alleging the death of Richmond occurred in the course of, or in furtherance of, the felony crime of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.

Count Three: First-degree burglary, a class-three felony, alleging the unlawful entry to, or remaining in, a residence, with the intent to commit a sexual assault, and that while he was inside the home Richmond was assaulted.

Count Four: Theft, a class-one misdemeanor, alleging the theft of a rifle.
The station adds that the only previous marks on Pollard's record consisted of traffic tickets.

As of now, Pollard is being held without bail in advance of today's court appearance. Look below to see his booking photo, followed by our previous coverage.


Update, 11:06 a.m. July 2: Following the publication of our post about the death of Patricia Richmond in Routt County (see our previous coverage below), law enforcers managed to track down the person of interest in the case.


Authorities reportedly found Cole Pollard, 22, near a lake about seventy miles away from the home where Richmond was found dead.

During the search process, Pollard was considered a suicide risk, but he was alive when he was found.

Thus far, Pollard hasn't been charged in Richmond's death. Instead, he's being held on suspicion of stealing items from the house in question — among them, guns.

Continue for our previous coverage.

Original post, 5:55 a.m. July 1: It was a grisly discovery.

Patricia Richmond, 23, was found dead at a home owned by her future in-laws in Routt County, not far from Steamboat Springs.

She was tied up and face down.

At this writing, it's unclear how Richmond died; results of an autopsy have not been released. But as those close to her mourn this tragedy, local law enforcers are on the lookout for Cole Pollard, 22, a distant cousin of Richmond's fiancee, Keith West. However, Pollard's being described as a person of interest rather than a suspect at this point.

The gallery of Richmond's Facebook page is filled with stunning portraits of the young woman, including this one....


...and this one:


In addition, the new profile pic on West's page is this loving portrait.


A far unhappier scene began unfolding at about 7:15 p.m. on Monday, June 29.

According to Steamboat Today, emergency responders were called to a home at 56730 Lupine Court in Routt County after family members discovered a body subsequently identified as Richmond.

She wasn't breathing and did not respond to treatment.

At first, authorities were tight-lipped about details surrounding the case. But over the past day or so, more information has emerged.


The Routt County Sheriff's Office is not calling Richmond's death a homicide yet, 7News reports, but authorities are certainly treating the situation as a suspicious death.

To that end, they're on the lookout for Pollard, who graduated from Steamboat Springs High School (as did West, one of his Facebook friends) and is said to have been living with his grandparents in Routt County.

9News points out that Pollard and Richmond were seen at an area bar together on the afternoon of her death.

Here's one photo of Pollard....


...and another:


Pollard is described as a five-nine, 160-pounder with brown hair and blues eyes. He may be driving a white 1999 GMC Suburban like this one:


The Suburban is outfitted with oversized tires and has a loud exhaust. Its Colorado license plate reads: 527 TQK.

If you have any information about Pollard's whereabouts or other aspects of the case, you're encouraged to contact the Routt County Sheriff's Office at 970-879-1090. In the meantime, we offer our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Patricia Richmond. Here's a report from 7News.


Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts