FREDERICK, Colo. (AP/CBS4) — Two bodies found in Weld County are believed to be those of a missing woman and her adult daughter. The primary suspect in the case kept police at a distance while barricaded in a home in Thornton on Friday night.
The bodies were found Friday in or near irrigation canals. Positive identification was taking extra time because of the trauma to the bodies.
Deputies also had problems retrieving one of the bodies because water had frozen around it, Weld County Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Reams said. Temperatures were in the teens in that area Friday morning.
The bodies were presumptively identified as Sherri Pachello, 56, and Alisha Johns, 36.
The Weld County Sheriff identified the primary suspect in the incident that includes kidnapping and deaths of the women as Cimmeron Johns, Alisha’s estranged husband.
On Friday deputies were searching for a gold 1991 Ford Explorer, belonging to Pachello which they believed Johns had been driving. Deputies later located the SUV outside an apartment complex located on 103rd and Irma Street in Thornton.
Johns barricaded himself inside a residence there and kept Thornton and Northglenn SWAT teams outside for several hours.
As officers first responded to the residence there was a report that shots were fired from inside. Multiple people were evacuated from that residence and the suspect remained inside.
Other residents were evacuated and the public was warned to stay away.
When asked about the shots fired, Thornton Police Sgt. Matt Kandt replied, “That has yet to be determined. None of our officers did fire so that the report of shots fired came from somewhere else.”
Police said the investigation started when Alisha Johns went to visit her estranged husband at a home in Frederick on Thursday night and her mother went to pick her up. A neighbor reported seeing two cars speed away from the house, the Ford Explorer and a black Mercedes normally driven by Cimmeron Johns.
Pachello also called her husband to report she was being chased by a dark-colored car. Deputies later found a black Mercedes crashed near where the bodies were found.
Investigators believe Johns abandoned his car and took control of the Explorer that Sherri and Alisha were driving after they slid off the road and their vehicle became temporarily inoperable.
Weld County Sheriff’s deputies combed the area throughout the night to attempt to locate the missing females and the suspect with no success.
About 11 a.m. on Friday a surveyor working in the area of Weld County Road 17 and Weld County Road 4 discovered a female body in a stream bed. Two hours later as Weld County Sheriff’s deputies were continuing to search the immediate area another female body was found in the area of Weld County Road 15 halfway between Weld County Roads 2 and 4.