FALCON, Colo. (CBS4) – Two young children are dead and the man who is considered a suspect in the case is also dead after a stabbing incident overnight at a rural ranch property near the town of Falcon.

El Paso County deputies responded before midnight to 9550 East Woodmen Road, northeast of Colorado Springs.

When they arrived they found 1-year-old Scarlett Gallagher stabbed to death. Her brother Ryan Willhite was taken to the hospital, also with stab wounds, but he later died. Willhite was 3 at the time of the crime and his birthday was on Thursday.

Scarlett Gallagher (credit: CBS)

Scarlett Gallagher (credit: CBS)

Authorities said they believe Ethan Courrau, 22, is responsible for the stabbing. They said he is not the father of the children but lived in a trailer on the property and had some sort of relationship with the children’s mother. It was later confirmed he was her boyfriend.

“He’s associated with the family, had some kind of relationship with one of the family members. It’s not my understanding that it’s some type of work relationship,” said El Paso Co. Sheiff’s Office Lt. Jeff Kramer.

Detectives said that Courrau was babysitting the children while his girlfriend, the children’s mother, went to the store. She is pregnant. When she returned, she discovered the grisly scene.

Officials with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department said they are continuing to investigate what happened. The crime apparently happened in the trailer on the property, which also includes run down farm buildings and horse facilities.

“Certainly it’s a sad situation, but it’s also a situation that requires a lot of effort and thorough work from our investigators,” said Kramer. “They were on the scene all night last night and they continue much of their efforts this morning from our offices in other locations as they continue to look into what is an active investigation for us still.”

A woman who came to the ranch Thursday morning told CBS4 she boards her horses at the property. She said was shocked to learn of the news, but admitted she was troubled in the past about the living conditions of the children. She said after learning of what happened she was sad she didn’t ever contact social services about their situation.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)


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