DENVER (CBS4) — On Dec. 27, 1973, Colorado State Patrol Officer Thomas Carpenter was found suffering from gunshot wounds in his patrol car in a parking lot adjacent to 13870 Albrook Drive in the Montbello neighborhood of Denver, and was later pronounced deceased. There is now a $10,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the case.
Approximately one hour before he was found, Officer Carpenter was observed making contact with two individuals in the area of US Highway 36 and Broadway. All three individuals were then seen getting into Trooper Carpenter’s marked patrol vehicle and leaving that area, with Trooper Carpenter driving.
The car had been stolen earlier in the day.
Det. Tom Lohr, who originally investigated Carpenter’s death, believes two men in the stolen car may have forced Carpenter, at gunpoint, to drive them away in his patrol vehicle. Two men were seen running from the parking lot where Carpenter was found.
Carpenter’s CSP-issued firearm was missing — but found two years later on a roadside in New Mexico.
Now, nearly 50 years later, investigators are still searching for answers.
Carpenter was a husband, a father of three and served in the Marines.
The Denver Police Department is continuing to actively investigate this case. They are asking anyone who may have information on this case and the individuals responsible to please contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers.