Junction man suspected of murder attempt, sexual assault

A 68-year-old Grand Junction man was arrested early Saturday on suspicion that he attempted to kill a female acquaintance in his home.

Police said in an arrest affidavit they believe William Einer Rydell, 999 Bookcliff Ave., Unit M2, was intoxicated and hit, choked and sexually assaulted a woman in his apartment Friday afternoon.

Afterwards, Rydell tried to kill himself by cutting his wrists, but when that failed, he couldn’t stand the pain and went to a neighbor’s house at approximately 4:55 p.m. Friday and asked the neighbor to call 911, the affidavit said.

When paramedics arrived, they thought the woman was dead, but they helped her resume breathing, and hospital personnel revived her, the affidavit said. The woman and Rydell were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital.

Rydell was treated for his injuries, then agreed to go to the Grand Junction Police Department for a voluntary interview, the affidavit said.

Police did not have an update on the woman’s condition Saturday other than to say she was alert, coherent and talking Friday night, and investigators were able to interview her.

She told police Rydell was “very intoxicated,” and that Rydell struck her twice with his fist. She said she mentioned her boyfriend, and “Rydell lost it,” and she didn’t remember much after that, according to the affidavit. She said she had not had consensual sex Friday with Rydell.

Police said Rydell told them he had been dating the woman off and on for six to seven years, and the two had been intimate, but she recently found another boyfriend. He said the woman stopped by his apartment Friday morning on her way to work and ended up calling her boss to say she was ill, then joined Rydell in drinking alcohol, the affidavit said.

After the 911 call, police arrived first at Rydell’s apartment and asked him what had happened, and Rydell said there was a woman in his apartment who was hurt and needed help, the affidavit said. Rydell then indicated to an officer he had choked the woman and didn’t know if she was conscious or breathing, the affidavit said.

A police officer entered Rydell’s apartment and found the woman lying on her stomach on a bed with a white robe partially over her, and she was otherwise naked, the affidavit said.

She was not breathing, the officer said, and he saw blood smeared on parts of her body, and there were women’s clothes on the floor near the bed.

Police asked Rydell if he had sex with the woman Friday, and he replied, “No, I don’t think so, not today,” the affidavit said.

Rydell explained his wounds to police by saying he tried to cut his wrists with a knife, but when that didn’t work, he used the hatchet, the affidavit said. At the apartment, police said they found a broken cell phone and a hammer with a bloody handle on the floor, a large, hunting-style knife with blood on it on the bed and a small ax on the kitchen counter with what appeared to be blood and flesh on its blade.

According to the affidavit, “Rydell said he said good by (sic) to every one he could think of, including God then layed down next to (the woman) expecting to die. Rydell said after about twenty minutes he was still alive, he got up and went to the neighbor’s house looking for help, because the pain was so intense he couldn’t stand it any more.”

A detective said Rydell had blood on both hands, his stomach and his crotch area, and he later learned Rydell had two broken fingers on his left hand.

After Rydell’s interview, a detective told Rydell he would be charged with attempted first-degree homicide, second-degree assault, third-degree assault and sexual assault, the affidavit said. Rydell was arrested at 12:30 a.m. Saturday and booked into Mesa County Jail.


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