NORTHGLENN, Colo. (CBS4) – Police in Northglenn told CBS4 early Friday afternoon they may have a suspect in custody after a body was discovered in a town home that was on fire.
The fire happened just before 9 a.m. at 350 West 114th Avenue. Once the fire was out, officers discovered the body of 78-year-old Joseph Montoya inside.
Many of Montoya’s family members live in nearby units at the complex.
“We woke up to what we though was a fire this morning and it ended up being a possible homicide,” said Laura Ortega, Montoya’s great niece.
The fire was extinguished quickly. Ortega says her uncle lives alone in the town home. The fire investigation turned suspicious when officers went inside and discovered Montoya’s body. Officers would not indicate a manner of death.
Northglenn Police Cmdr. Ron Harelson addressed the media Friday afternoon, “He was found in the apartment alone, his vehicle is missing and the nature of the fire.”
It’s still unknown if Montoya died before the fire or because of the fire.
Ortega says her uncle’s navy blue 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee was also seen speeding off Friday morning.
By Friday afternoon, CBS4 was there as Westminster police tracked down the Jeep, chasing the driver into a neighborhood off 118th and Vallejo.
Spencer Frank was a witness as police cruisers and the Jeep sped down his street, “The passenger door flew open and guy ran straight out into this yard and jugger-knotted through the fence.”
When police grabbed the suspect, Joshua Misegadis, 26, officers bagged his hands with brown paper bags, procedure used to contain any gun power residue or DNA on his hands.
Family members told CBS4 they have never seen or heard of Misegadis. He has not yet been charged with a crime but is being held for suspicion of homicide.
Neighbors say this has been a frightening morning, especially for the folks near the man’s town home.
Ashley Costa is a neighbor and says Montoya was very kind, always friends to everyone.
She’s very scared for her safety now, “We’re actually barricading our back door now after hearing this.”
Meanwhile, Ortega says her family is shocked by all of the recent events, “We’re sad, we’re angry and were gonna find whoever did this to him.”
The following information was released by police in Northglenn:
Anyone with any information regarding this incident, please contact Detective Gesi at 303.450.8857 or 303.450.8893.