Update: Yesterday, when we wrote about the murder of Kirsten Russell Lockett, we pixilated a photo of her and Richard Lockett, her estranged husband, who was suspected of killing her, because neither had been officially identified.
Now, however, Richard has been formally charged in the killing, and friends and family who gathered in Limon yesterday have confirmed that Kirsten was the victim.
Fox31 notes that the accusations against Richard were made public on what would have been Kirsten's 37th birthday.
As we've reported, Richard allegedly stabbed Kirsten to death in the Castle Rock home of her brother, where she'd taken refuge along with her five kids. Days before, police believe Richard kidnapped and sexually assaulted Kirsten.
The violence of these acts only makes the photos in Kirsten's Facebook gallery, which remain online at this writing, that much more heartbreaking.
Some of the pics show Kirsten on her own, including this one:
But there are a slew of shots from a romantic photo session featuring her and Richard. It was posted during the summer of 2014.
The photo at the top of this update is among these pics, as is this one....
...and the original version of the photo in which we'd previous obscured their faces:
Richard looks far different in his now-public booking photo. See it below, followed by a Fox31 report about the memorial for Kirsten in Limon and our previous coverage.
Original post, 6:45 a.m. July 22: The mother of five who was reportedly murdered in the Castle Rock home of her brother this past weekend hasn't been officially identified yet.
Neither has her estranged husband, who's suspected of committing the crime and then attempting, unsuccessfully, to kill himself.
However, 7News maintains that the victim was Kirsten Russell Lockett — and a slew of posts on her Facebook page mourning her loss offer plentiful confirmation that a tragedy did indeed take place.
Moreover, Richard Lockett is currently in custody in Douglas County. And while he has yet to be charged with taking Kirsten's life, he's being held on suspicion of kidnapping and sexually assaulting her days earlier, following a series of Facebook posts in which she decried domestic violence.
Because they haven't been officially ID'd yet, we've distorted the images of Kirsten and Richard in the photo above. But Kirsten's Facebook photo gallery is filled with pics of the pair, as well as shots of their adorable children.
In recent weeks, however, Kirsten shared a series of graphics that speak to the terror of domestic violence. Here's the most recent, which was made her profile pic on July 10:
That same day, she also posted this image:
And on June 24, she put up the following:
According to 7News, these intimations of domestic violence became a reality on July 13, based on a Lincoln County report obtained by the station.
Kirsten is said to have been asleep at her home east of Limon when Richard, who had already been named in a restraining order, woke her up by pressing a gun to her head, then pulled her into his truck's sleeper area.
An excerpt from the document reveals what happened next:
"Rick told Kirsten to get on the bed and put her hands behind her back, Rick then placed plastic zip ties around each (of) Kristen's wrists and one connecting them. Rick then restrained Kirsten's ankles with one zip tie.
"Rick told Kirsten that if they get pulled over she better close the curtain and remain quite (sic) or he will shoot the cop then her."
After that, Richard allegedly threatened to kill Kirsten and himself. He also sexually assaulted Kirsten, she told authorities.
Given the seriousness of these allegations, why was Richard free on Saturday, July 18? We don't know the answer to that question yet — but we know what happened on that date.
At about 5 a.m., Fox31 reveals, Castle Rock police responded to what was initially described as a domestic disturbance in a neighborhood known as Founders Village.
There, they found a 36-year-old woman dead. She'd been fatally stabbed.
As for her estranged husband, a 44-year-old, he suffered from "critical injuries" that appeared to have been self-inflicted.
Adding to the horror of the situation: The woman's brother and children were all at the home during the attack.
Since then, Castle Rock authorities have been mum. But 7News has confirmed that Richard is behind bars in Douglas County on the Lincoln County charges.
In the meantime, Kirsten's Facebook friends have been posting messages of grief on her page. Some excerpts:
i miss you so much!! You Helped me a lot and i will miss you so much!!!
My Thoughts and Prayers go out to YOU and your Family.. If your kids need anything, please let us know... RIP Kirsten, you're walking on streets paved of GOLD.... My heart just hurts for you....
Our hearts are broken. May you be held in God's arms and the Angels forever watch over your children. We will keep your family in our prayers.
We second these thoughts.Michael Roberts.
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.