NUNN, Colo. (AP/CBS4) – Investigators believe two men whose bodies were found inside a burning pickup in northern Colorado last fall were ambushed, robbed and killed before the fire.
The bodies of Zachary Moore of Prague, Oklahoma, and Joshua Foster of Muskogee, Oklahoma were found in October in the truck in the Pawnee National Grassland near Nunn on Oct. 17.
“The victims in this case had come from Oklahoma to purchase what we believe was a large amount of marijuana,” Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “Up to $30,000 worth of marijuana.”
The Weld County Sheriff’s Office believes multiple people were involved in the slayings, including three suspects who are being held in jail.
Samuel Lucas Pinney and Samantha Lynn Simmons were arrested Monday morning. They face multiple charges, including aggravated robbery, first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. Nathaniel Lee Youngman was arrested on April 8 in connection with the case and faces felony aggravated robbery charges.
Detectives believe Foster had come to Colorado at least three other times in an attempt to buy large quantities of marijuana to sell in Oklahoma.
“The victims were known to the suspects. They had interacted several times before to the point that they texted each other back and forth,” Reams said.
And it was those text messages that helped investigators identify the suspects.
“Technology played a huge role in this case,” Reams said. “We were able to use some cellphone technology to place our suspects right there at the scene at the time that the vehicle would’ve been on fire.”
Visitors and residents exporting marijuana from Colorado to other states is a growing problem for law enforcement. Just last week more than 40 people from Texas were arrested in Denver for having illegal marijuana grows and shipping the drug out of state.
“We expect to see more of this stuff overtime,” Reams said. “We just hope it doesn’t end in tragedy like we’ve seen in this particular case.”
The investigation into the murders of the men from Oklahoma is ongoing and authorities believe more suspects are involved.
Additional Information From The Weld County Sheriff’s Office
Anyone with information regarding this or any other crime is asked to call the Weld County Sheriff’s Office at 970-356-4015 or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimeshurt.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000 from Crime Stoppers.
CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann contributed to this story.
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