Officer denied wrongdoing before suicide
A Carbondale police officer who was being investigated on suspicion of sexual assault when he committed suicide last month notified superiors of the allegations and denied any wrongdoing.
Officer Nino Santiago Sr. approached Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling about two weeks before he killed himself to inform Schilling of the ongoing investigation into an “alleged domestic sexual assault” that happened eight years ago, Schilling said in a news release Wednesday night. At the same time, Santiago denied involvement, Schilling said.
Because no charges had been filed, and the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department had not contacted the Carbondale Police Department about the investigation, Schilling decided Santiago would remain on the job during the investigation, the news release said.
Santiago’s body was found March 22 in his police vehicle in a parking lot shared by Crystal River Elementary School and a nearby church. He shot himself while on duty.
“With this release, my hope is that the citizens of Carbondale can move forward,” Schilling said in the news release. “Please respect the family and fellow officers as they mourn the loss of Officer Santiago.”