As its name indicates, Loveland is known much more for affection than violence.
Yet in July, Stephanie Smith was stabbed to death in town by a man found to have acted in self-defense; months later, Casey Albee was charged with trying to kill him during the same incident. And this week, 42-year-old Christina Gray was found dead -- and Loveland police have now launched a homicide investigation. Details and an interactive graphic below.
On the afternoon of December 18, according to the Loveland Police Department, the LPD dispatcher received from a call from woman who'd been asked to check on Gray by someone concerned about her welfare.
A short time later, this woman and a friend visited Gray's home on the 1500 block of North Jefferson Avenue and made a grisly discovery: Gray was dead.
By 3:11 p.m., officers had been dispatched to an address specified by the Loveland Reporter-Herald as 1512 North Jefferson. The residence is captured in the following interactive graphic; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
Detectives from the department's criminal investigation unit soon joined their colleagues, and by the following day, a homicide inquiry was officially underway.
One reason: The Larimer County coroner determined that Gray's cause of death was blunt-force head injuries and strangulation.
Investigators are said to have "no credible information lending credence to a generalized threat to the community." This statement implies that the cops have a suspect in mind, as does the one that follows: "Loveland Police are confident that the person or persons responsible for this crime will be identified and taken into custody as promptly as possible."
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At this writing, no announcement about an arrest has been made, and the LPD continues to ask anyone with information about the crime to contact the department's tip line at 970-962-2032. In the meantime, our sincere condolences to Gray's friends, family and loved ones.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa November: "Casey Albee charged with stabbing man who killed Stephanie Smith in self-defense."