HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4/AP) – Authorities say they’re closing in on the thieves they say stole items from a van where the bodies a Denver-area father and son were found in an apparent murder-suicide.

Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson Wednesday says there’s strong evidence that the deaths of 62-year-old William Ahrold and his 9-year-old son, Jackson, were a murder-suicide.

Johnson says they have strong leads into who may have broken into the van and took Ahrold’s gun and other items before authorities found the van parked next to the Colorado River Saturday.

Ahrold is divorced and shared custody of Jackson with his ex-wife. Neighbors said they knew something was wrong when they hadn’t seen Ahrold’s van in a couple of days. Neighbors describe Ahrold as a loving father.

“They were always outside playing, kicking the ball around,” neighbor Greg Wasinger said. “He loved his child, a good neighbor, pretty quiet but he knew a lot of folks around here.”

In another twist, police in Denver say they’re investigating an attempted burglary at Ahrold’s Denver home Wednesday. Two men reported trying to break into the home fled before officers arrived, leaving their vehicle behind. Denver police say the cases appear unrelated.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

(credit: CBS)