Colorado triple homicide: Police arrest convicted sex offender

Cañon City police arrested Jaacob Harding Vanwinkle in relation to the deaths of a mother and her two children.
By Kate Stanton  |  March 10, 2014 at 10:59 PM
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CANON CITY, Colo., March 10 (UPI) -- Jaacob Harding Vanwinkle, a 31-year-old convicted sex offender, was at the home where police found a 35-year-old woman and her two children, ages 5 and 9, lying dead on Sunday in Cañon City, Colo.

Police officers arrived at the home after the woman's teenage daughter called authorities to say she had been sexuality assaulted. She was able to flee to a neighbor's house for safety.

Cañon City officials said that Vanwinkle was arrested without incident and has been charged with kidnapping, sexual assault and three counts of first-degree murder.

Police described Vanwinkle as a friend of the mother, who was staying at the home.

He served multiple prison terms in Indiana on child molestation charges and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence in Colorado in 2012.

“The possible penalty is life without parole or if the district attorney chooses, to seek the death penalty it is punishable by death, but the DA will not have to make that decision until later in the case,” Judge David Thorson told Vanwinkle on Monday.

Authorities have scheduled an autopsy of the victims on Tuesday to determine an exact cause of death.

[Denver Channel, Denver Post, KDVR]

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