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Manuel Amaro-Rojas, killed by gunshot, ID'd as man found in car near 8th & Decatur (18)

Update: The deceased man found in a car at 8th and Decatur in what was initially called a "suspicious death" -- a term that was later replaced by "homicide" -- has been identified as Manuel Amaro-Rojas, 24. And while he was involved in a crash, the impact didn't kill him. Instead, the Denver coroner lists his cause of death as a perforating gunshot wound to the right arm and chest.

No new information from the Denver Police Department about a search for Amaro-Rojas' killer. But the DPD is seeking witnesses he may have seen something near the crime scene. Get more information in our previous coverage below.

Update, 1:53 p.m. August 11: Earlier today, Denver Police Department spokesman Detective John White called a death following a car crash near 8th and Decatur "suspicious," but was not ready to declare it murder.

That changed moments ago. The DPD has now officially deemed the case a homicide.

The DPD wants to know if anyone saw the thus-far-unnamed victim's vehicle -- a green 1998 Hyundai Elantra -- in the area of 8th and Bryant, not far from where the crash took place, at around 2:20 a.m. this morning. Anyone who has is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).

Our previous coverage is below.

Original item, 12:58 p.m. August 11: Earlier today, we told you about a "suspicious death" in Aurora -- a woman found dead in an SUV on South Elkhart Way.

The Denver Police Department is also using the "suspicious death" descriptor for an incident at 8th and Decatur. What's the story? Detective John White tells what he can at this point.

"An individual was driving his vehicle in the area of 8th and Decatur," says White, "when the vehicle crashed -- and we found that individual inside, deceased."

So what's the suspicious part? Did the crash not seem violent enough to have caused a death? Was there another injury that didn't seem related to the accident?

"We really need to hear from the coroner's office as to what they believe the cause of death to be," White responds. "But at this point, there are no obvious signs of criminal intent outside of this individual being deceased."

Mysterious. In the meantime, look below to see an interactive graphic showing the area near the scene. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."


View Larger Map

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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.
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