Cheyenne Goins's Body Found After Cops Kill Person of Interest in Disappearance

Two portraits of the late Cheyenne Goins.
Two portraits of the late Cheyenne Goins. Colorado Bureau of Investigation/Family photo via KRDO
There's a lot we don't know yet regarding the tragic fate of 21-year-old Cheyenne Goins. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation announced a search for the Alamosa woman on August 20, more than a week after she'd been reported missing. Then on August 24, the CBI announced that Goins's body had been located several days earlier — and noted that the man who'd been killed after an encounter with police officers from Northglenn and Thornton last week was 33-year-old Lucas Antonio Salas Jr., a person of interest in Goins's disappearance.

The CBI has not yet concluded that Salas was responsible for Goins's death. But on August 18, a Northglenn Police Department release said the man gunned down the previous day on Thorncreek Golf Course was a homicide suspect — even though Goins's body wouldn't be found for several more days.

A public acknowledgement of Goins's plight can be found in an August 13 post placed on her Facebook page by her sister, who wrote, "She's been missing for 5 days now.... Please pray for her."

The Alamosa County Sheriff's Office hadn't issued a statement about the search at that point. But in an August 24 update, the ACSO said that Goins's family reported her missing on August 12, one day before the Facebook post.

The Northglenn Police Department description of the officer-involved shooting makes no mention of Goins. It states that at approximately 11:30 a.m. on August 17, members of the NPD "attempted to contact a homicide suspect at the 10300 block of Malley Drive. The suspect vehicle fled northbound on Washington Street. Thornton officers responded to assist before the suspect vehicle came to a rest on the side of the roadway at 136th Avenue, at the golf course."

The suspect is said to have exited his vehicle and "continued on foot onto the greens of the golf course" before producing a firearm. "Shots were exchanged," the release continues. "The suspect was struck by gunfire and was transported to a local area hospital, where he was pronounced dead."

The NPD has not named the officer or officers who shot and killed the suspect. But Northglenn authorities confirmed that "this incident is currently under investigation by the 17th Judicial District Critical Incident Investigations Team. Following standard procedure, the involved officers have been placed on paid administrative leave."

The August 20 Colorado Bureau of Investigation news blast was the first to tie the police shooting to Goins's disappearance. "Based on the preliminary information by the Sheriff's Office and the CBI," it stated, "both agencies are concerned that foul play might be involved. It's believed that several people were in contact with Goins the night she went missing, including the suspect in the officer-involved shooting in Northglenn.... While the suspect in the Northglenn incident was most definitely a person of interest in Goins' disappearance, there were no formal charges at the time of the incident."

Then yesterday, the CBI revealed that Goins's remains were found on August 21 "in a clandestine grave in a remote area in Alamosa County at Colorado State Highways 160 and 150."

Additionally, the CBI noted that Salas "was considered a person of interest in Goins' disappearance, as he was one of several people to be last seen with the missing Alamosa woman. Salas was also the suspect killed in an officer-involved shooting in Northglenn on August 18, 2021. Investigators have not connected Salas to Goins' homicide, and no arrests have been made in the case to date. The investigation is ongoing."

In the meantime, a GoFundMe page launched by Goins's family while the search was ongoing has undergone a sad transition. The most recent item reads: "With heavy hearts we update that Cheyenne has been found murdered. Our family is absolutely devastated. Words can not describe the pain we feel. Thank you all for the continued support & to those who have reached out to give their condolences. We will get JUSTICE FOR CHEY!"
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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