FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith is calling for changes after the death of Heather “Helena” Hoffmann.
Hoffmann’s body was found in Sheldon Lake inside City Park following her shift at McDonald’s. Jeffrey Etheridge, 28, a transient, has been arrested in connection to the murder. Sexual assault charges are also pending.READ MORE: 1 Dead, 1 Hospitalized After Disturbance At Fort Collins Motel
Etheridge appeared in court by video on Thursday. He is a registered transient and sex offender in Colorado.
In a Facebook post early Friday morning, Sheriff Smith called on “the community to band together and demand changes in public policy that will protect law abiding citizens from transient criminals like the one accused of raping and murdering Helena.”READ MORE: COVID In Colorado: Inmates At Denver County Jail Will Begin Getting Vaccinations
The Sheriff says that nearly “one in three inmates in the [Larimer County] jail are self identified as either homeless, transient or living in a local shelter. This is up from one in eight in 2011.”
“I was a transient once myself and not every one of them is a bad person,” said Zach Denton, who shares a daughter with Hoffmann. “I don’t look at him as a transient; he’s a killer, that’s what he is.”
Smith, though, wants the city council to “take action to protect the community and stop surrendering to the transient advocates who show up, like clockwork, every time the local police attempt to crack down on the dangerous transients flooding our communities.”MORE NEWS: COVID Restrictions In Colorado: Custer County Commissioners Vote To Drop All Restrictions, Open Up 100%
Etheridge is due back in court next week.