DENVER (CBS4)– Ross Richter’s friends say he wasn’t a fan of city life and were surprised to learn that he was killed in a bar early Wednesday morning.
Firefighters found the bodies of four women and Richter at 2 a.m. on a poker night at Fero’s Bar and Grill near the intersection of Colorado Blvd. and Alameda.
The victims were identified as the owner of the bar, Young Fero, 63, Daria M. Pohl, 22; Kellene Fallon, 45; Richter, 29; and Tereasa Beesley, 45. Pohl, Fallon and Beesley were from Denver. Richter was from Overland Park, Kan.
Three men were arrested for investigation of murder after a Denver bar was set on fire to cover up five killings committed during a robbery. Police identified them as Dexter Lewis, 22, Joseph Hill, 27, and his brother, Lynell Hill, 24.
Richter’s friends said he felt most at home in the mountains and near rushing rivers. He worked as a river ranger for the Bureau of Land Management.
“Just easy to be around all the time. You never got sick of him,” said Richter’s friend Will Tiefenbrun. “When we were on the river we were on the river together. When we weren’t on the river we were driving trucks around together. When we weren’t driving trucks together we were probably camping somewhere.”
Tiefenbrun was Richter’s partner and friend on the river.
When asked what Richter was doing in the bar that night, Tiefenbrun replied, “I have no idea. There might have been a sign up, $1 PBR. That might have drawn him in. He doesn’t come to the city much. He doesn’t like the city.”
Richter’s father, James Richter, said Thursday at the family’s home in Overland Park that Ross Richter was in Colorado working for the Bureau of Land Management, patrolling campgrounds and helping campers.
He says his son graduated from Kansas State University and always spent any spare time hiking and camping. James Richter says his son wasn’t married, but had “many, many friends.”
“I was told that Ross had been killed. I was going through my head. I expected the next thing to be that he had been struck my lightning while hiking or that there had been an accident on the river,” said Tiefenbrun. “When it turned out he had been shot and killed and then burned is just never how I would have expected him to go.”
Tiefenbrun believes that Richter may have been on a date with the young woman, Daria M. Pohl, killed that night.