As we've reported, authorities arrested Tanner Flores, eighteen, after recovering a body that's been positively identified as Ashley Doolittle, a Berthoud eighteen-year-old — and his former girlfriend.
Now, an affidavit in the case is revealing new and chilling details about the circumstances of Doolittle's death.
The document maintains that Flores has admitted to killing Doolittle because he was "angry with her."
He then transported her remains across the state and cleaned her before returning her body to his vehicle.
The police document, obtained by the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, notes that Doolittle's mother reported her missing on Thursday, June 9, after her car was found abandoned near Lon Hagler Reservoir in Larimer County.
The concern prompted by this discovery was compounded by information that Flores was "really down" after his breakup with Doolittle.
Indeed, he's said to have sent a Snapchat to friends the evening before that was "suicidal in nature."
Even more worrisome: Flores had vanished a few hours before Doolittle went missing, and his father told authorities that a handgun was missing from the older man's gun locker.
Before long, deputies received information that Flores might have been headed to Collbran, a community on Colorado's Western Slope. That's where the unoccupied home of his late grandfather was located.
To confirm this information, Larimer County deputies contacted a woman who lived near the grandfather's property. She reported spotting a truck matching the description of Flores's vehicle parked in the driveway, the affidavit states.
And that's not all she noticed.
An excerpt from the affidavit reads: “She saw that the male had opened all the doors to the truck and pulled out what looked to be a bundled-up blanket from the back seat of the truck and set it on the ground. She said she was not totally sure, but she thought she could see an arm sticking out of the bundle.”
At that point, the woman continued, she saw the male — Flores — place the body-sized bundle back into his truck's cab.
That was more than enough for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office to scramble its SWAT team, which set up a perimeter around the property.
The SWAT teamers had a clear view of Flores's subsequent activities.
Another excerpt reads: “The male was observed near the truck and the residence but no female was observed with him.... The male was observed throwing something in the field north of the residence that deputies believed was a rag with potential blood on it. The male was also observed with something black in his hand.”
By 10:30 a.m. or so, Flores was taken into custody and Doolittle's body was recovered.
During a later interview with law enforcers, the document quotes Flores admitting to "shooting Ashley in the head twice because he [was] angry with her."
The location: Carter Lake, about ten miles from Lon Hagler Reservoir, by the Sentinel's measure.
At his grandfather's home, Flores told investigators that he "clean[ed] her up before returning her to the truck."
He added that he discarded a bloody cloth and rug at the residence.
Yesterday, Flores made his first court appearance in Mesa County, but formal charges still haven't been pressed against him.
He's scheduled to be extradited to Larimer County soon, where he's expected to answer for allegedly taking a most promising life in a senseless and horrific way.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.