Derrick Peterson, 38, is accused of aggravated cruelty to animals and received a $5,000 cash-only bond from the Mesa County Court on Monday.

A woman reported to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at around 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 15 that she had just visited a residence that had blood all over it and she left out of fear, according to the arrest affidavit.

When the reporting party asked the resident, later identified as Peterson, what happened, he allegedly said “you do not want to know.”

Peterson was detained and during a safety sweep of the home, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office deputies found a deceased dog in the backyard with its stomach cut open, according to the arrest affidavit. A trail of blood was also found in the home as well as a large pool of blood in the kitchen sink, the affidavit said.

Peterson was transported to Mind Springs Health.

The Mesa County Organic Materials Composting Facility, at 3071 U.S. Highway 50, offers an easy, free way to dispose of your live Christmas tree after the holidays.

You should remove any lights, tinsel, ornaments, and the stand from the tree before dropping it off. Flocked or artificial trees are not eligible and will not be accepted. The trees will be processed for compost production on-site. The compost facility is open from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Call 263-9319 or go to for information.

Help paying power bills is still available

The Grand Valley Power board of directors has approved the extension of the bill relief fund initially launched in April, through March 31, 2021.

“In these unprecedented times, members who have been impacted by the pandemic and are at risk for future disconnect due to financial hardships, are eligible to apply for the credit,” a news release said.

The Grand Valley Power Hometown Relief Fund will assist qualifying members with a one-time $100 bill credit that will be applied directly to their accounts. Applications are at and can be submitted online, by mail, by phone or drop box. Grand Valley Power residential account holders (under FH-1 Tariff Rate Schedule) who demonstrate financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis are eligible for benefits from the Hometown Relief Fund.

For information, on eligibility and payment arrangement opportunities, members should call 242-0040 or go to the website.

Criminal gang indicted by grand jury

DENVER — A grand jury indicted 12 people who were part of a group known as “The Family” on charges of committing a series of crimes, some at gunpoint, to fuel their methamphetamine addiction, the Denver district attorney announced Monday.

Members of the group are accused of stealing the identities of more than 240 victims and taking more than $550,000 in vehicles. They also are accused of stealing and selling weapons, bicycles, sports memorabilia, jewelry, electronics, money and other items between April 2019 and October 2020.

Sarah Marie Lore, 38, was known as the “street mom” and controlled other members of the group through violence, prosecutors said. She is accused of negotiating deals in person and over Facebook to buy and sell stolen items. The other members were known as “street sons,” “brothers” and “sisters,” prosecutors said.

2nd set of human remains identified

CONEJOS — Authorities have identified a second set of human remains found near a rural town in southern Colorado.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says a forensic odontologist, a specially trained dentist who studies teeth, identified the remains as those of 34-year-old Shayla Jenna Hammel, of Saguache. She was reported missing Nov. 26, and a family member told investigators there had been no contact from her since late October.

The cause and manner of death have not been determined, but investigators believe foul play was involved.

In early December, the CBI said another set of remains found in the area were those of 37-year-old Myron Robert Martinez, of Del Norte. A family member had not heard from him since late October and reported him missing Nov. 6.

Searches in November uncovered the skeletal remains of three people on two properties outside the small city of Alamosa.

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