Police: Teen admitted killing girl
Suspect drove body to Collbran ranch where it was recovered, affidavit says
A Berthoud teenager accused of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend told law enforcement while in custody that he shot the 18-year-old woman in Larimer County, drove her body to his late grandfather’s unoccupied Collbran home, cleaned her body in the home and put the body back in the truck, according to an arrest affidavit.
Tanner Flores, who was arrested Friday on a Collbran ranch at 64006 E. Highway 330, where 18-year-old Ashley Doolittle’s body was found, is being held without bond in the Mesa County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and second-degree kidnapping. Flores was advised of the potential charges Monday in Mesa County Court. Mesa County Court Judge Craig Henderson ordered Flores to return to court in Mesa County on June 24, although the teen likely be moved to Larimer County before then.
Doolittle, also of Berthoud, was reported missing by her mother Thursday evening, according to a Larimer County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit. The woman told Larimer County emergency dispatchers that she had found her daughter’s car unoccupied at Lon Hagler Reservoir in Loveland. Friends of both teens said Doolittle had recently broken up with Flores and he was “really down” over the breakup, the affidavit said.
“Tanner apparently sent a Snapchat message to several friends on (June 8) in the late evening that had a message that was suicidal in nature,” the affidavit said.
Flores’ father told a Larimer County sheriff’s deputy that his .22-caliber revolver was missing from a gun locker in his home, and that Flores knew where the key was, the report said. Larimer deputies learned that Flores might be heading for his late grandfather’s unoccupied Collbran home, a report said.
Larimer deputies contacted a Collbran woman who lived near Flores’ late grandfather’s land, the report said. She said that while talking to deputies, she could see a white truck in the driveway.
“She saw that the male had opened all the doors to the truck and pulled out what looked to be a bundled-up blanket from the back seat of the truck and set it on the ground,” the affidavit said. “(The woman) said she was not totally sure, but she thought she could see an arm sticking out of the bundle.”
The woman told deputies she then saw the male pick the bundle back up with some effort and put it in the truck’s cab, according to the report.
The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team responded to the home and established a perimeter while watching the male on the property.
“The male was observed near the truck and the residence but no female was observed with him,” the report said. “At one point the male was observed throwing something in the field north of the residence that deputies believed was a rag with potential blood on it. The male was also observed with something black in his hand.”
SWAT officers arrested Flores at about 10:30 a.m. Friday, the report said. They found a body later identified as Doolittle in the back of the truck.
The exact timeline of events isn’t clear in the affidavit.
“During (an interview with law enforcement) Tanner admits to … shooting Ashley in the head twice because he is angry with her,” the report said. “The shooting took place near Carter Lake in unincorporated Larimer County, Colorado.”
Carter Lake is about 10 miles from Lon Hagler Reservoir where Doolittle’s car was reportedly found.
The report said Flores told a Mesa County sheriff’s investigator he carried Doolittle’s body into Collbran home and “clean(ed) her up before returning her to the truck.” Flores also allegedly threw away a bloody cloth and a bloody rug while on the property in Collbran, the report said.
Flores hasn’t been formally charged yet. The teen didn’t speak during his Monday court hearing.
Public Defender Steve Colvin didn’t make a request for Flores’ bond, but said defense attorneys might address bond at later hearings.