Montrose suspect’s suicide confirmed

MONTROSE — The Montrose County Coroner’s Office confirmed Thursday the wanted man who killed himself in a Montrose apartment complex Wednesday night was Ryan Craig Peterson, a suspect in a double homicide.

The Coroner’s Office also reported that Kama Sanburg and Scott Clarke were homicide victims who died from gunshot wounds at their home sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning.

Dr. Mike Benzinger, a pathologist with Montrose Memorial Hospital, had been investigating the deaths while Coroner Thomas Canfield is out of town, according to Montrose County spokeswoman Kristin Modrell. She said Benzinger took extra time and precautions to confirm Peterson’s identity.

The Coroner’s Office said no additional information would be released about the victims Thursday. All three deaths remain under investigation by the Coroner’s Office and Montrose County Sheriff’s Department.

Clarke’s 15-year-old son found his father and Sanburg dead and called 911 at 7:58 a.m. Monday morning, according to police reports.

That discovery triggered a three-day manhunt for Peterson, 19, who was known to have been at the Sanburg-Clarke residence, 16378 6030 Road, the night of the deaths. Arrest affidavits revealed Peterson had lived at the residence with Sanburg and Clarke.

Peterson reportedly took a red flatbed pickup belonging to Sanburg and abandoned the vehicle sometime Monday morning in a Montrose back alley, blocks away from the Sunshine Peak Apartments, where Peterson was found dead by SWAT team members Wednesday night.

Acting on tips, the Sheriff’s Department and Montrose Police Department surrounded Building N, Apartment 202, of the apartment complex early Wednesday evening.

Montrose Police Cmdr. Gene Lillard said a SWAT team entered the apartment and found Peterson dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police were unable to make contact with Peterson prior to his death, Lillard said.

Police Chief Tom Chinn said officers never saw Peterson alive Wednesday before entering the apartment.

No one at the Sheriff’s Department replied to requests for comment Thursday afternoon.


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