Larissa Tiffany-Schiess's BF Admits Cutting Her Throat, Setting House on Fire

Back in February, we told you about the murder of Larissa Tiffany-Schiess, whose body was found after firefighters responded to a blaze at her Fountain home.

Investigators quickly determined that the flames hadn't killed Tiffany-Schiess and began investigating the case as a homicide.

Her former boyfriend, Thomas Turley, was subsequently arrested and charged with the crime, to which he sort of admitted before denying any involvement in, among other things, slashing her throat before setting the conflagration.

Now, however, Turley has pleaded guilty in the case.

As we've reported, the incident took place on the 900 block of South Candlestar Loop, an area captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing it, click "View Larger Map."

The first tweet from the Fountain Fire Department about the incident, which was reported around 2:30 a.m. on February 4, gives no indication that the home would turn into a crime scene.

Soon thereafter, however, Tiffany-Schiess's body was discovered, and as KOAA-TV noted, the fire was quickly deemed suspicious.

Here's a KOAA image from the scene.... one shot...

...and another.... well as a third shot later that morning....

...courtesy of a news crew from KKTV.

The victim was subsequently identified as Tiffany-Schiess, whose Facebook page pointed out that she graduated from Ellicott High School and worked as a PDA Tech rep for T-Mobile. Her photo gallery included a few images of her, including this one....

...but the majority of pics featured dogs (she was a member of numerous animal-related groups), as well as a shot of her baby sister.

Initially, police were looking for an individual described only as a "person of interest" in the case — and the search for Tiffany-Schiess's missing 2006 Suzuki ended when the vehicle was located in Pueblo.

The man who brought it there was Turley, who reportedly checked into a Pueblo motel after his girlfriend's death. He was found with Tiffany-Schiess's phone and other belongings in his possession.

At an April hearing to determine if there was enough evidence for the case against Turley to move forward, prosecutors unveiled more grisly details about the slaying. According to KOAA, they revealed that Tiffany-Schiess had been beaten and strangled before her throat was cut. At that point, the fire was set, and testimony stated that her remains smelled strongly of an accelerant such as gasoline.

Also noted during the court appearance: Turley allegedly told investigators, "I got her killed" before backtracking and arguing that someone else must have killed Tiffany-Schiess.

That tune has changed. Fox21 now confirms that Turley has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree arson. He'll be sentenced in December.

Look below to see Turley's booking photos, followed by the KOAA report from April. In the meantime, our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Larissa Tiffany-Schiess. | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

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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