SAGUACHE, Colo. (CBS4) – An arrest warrant has been filed in a 7-year-old Colorado death investigation.
Investigators announced Monday that a suspect has been identified in the disappearance and murder of mountain biking pioneer Mike Rust. Charles Gonzales is a 46-year-old Colorado inmate who is currently incarcerated in Cañon City for an unrelated crime.
Rust’s remains were found buried in Colorado’s San Luis Valley in January after an anonymous tip led Saguache County deputies there. Police revealed Monday that they believe Rust was murdered.
In late March 2009 Rust came home and noticed his house near Saguache had been broken into. It’s thought that the 55-year-old went after the perpetrators. Four days after his disappearance a vest and the butt of a gun were found near Rust’s driveway. Both had Rust’s blood on them.
Gonzales now faces charges that include first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. The arrest warrant in the case was filed last Thursday, according to authorities.
Investigators say they don’t believe Rust knew Gonzales.
Gonzales has an extensive rap sheet for crimes that mostly took place in southern Colorado. They include robberies, burglaries, menacing and theft cases.
RELATED: Charles Gonzales Criminal History Document (.pdf)
His most recent arrest took place in 2011 and he has been in and out of jail since 1990. His current prison sentence began more than four years ago.
Rust was one of the original mountain bikers in Colorado and helped invent a new kind of bike called a shorty. He’s a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and the main character in a movie about his life called “The Rider and The Wolf.”