FBI: Police fatally shoot suspected kidnapper
Associated Press: Fort Collins Metro Area (CO)
Saturday, January 2, 2010
A Colorado man suspected of kidnapping his former fiancee and later fleeing a Wyoming hotel just before authorities moved in to rescue her was fatally shot by police Friday, the FBI said.
The shooting during a confrontation between three Fort Collins police officers and Dennis Gene Cox followed an extensive manhunt that had been centered about 69 miles away in Laramie, Wyo., authorities said.
Laramie police began searching for Cox Friday after a woman he was suspected of kidnapping from Brighton, Colo., was found safe at a Laramie hotel Friday morning.
Julie Ann Kilgore, a 48-year-old nurse, left her home with Cox on Tuesday, Brighton police spokesman John Bradley said.
Relatives became suspicious, however, because Kilgore left a 7-year-old niece unattended. When Kilgore didn't return, relatives called police, who then secured a warrant for Cox 's arrest on kidnapping charges.
Brighton is about 25 miles northeast of Denver, and about 55 miles south of Fort Collins.
Cox , 50, checked into the Laramie hotel on Thursday, Laramie Police Commander Mitchell Cushman said. He fled Friday morning just before police arrived and found Kilgore hiding under a desk in the lobby, authorities said.
Cox abandoned a Ford Taurus he was driving in downtown Laramie, police said. It was unclear how he got to Fort Collins.
The Friday afternoon shooting occurred on a downtown street near a bus station, Fort Collins police said.
''The suspect pointed a gun at the officers and officers shot the suspect,'' a police statement said.
Kidnap victim still "numb" - Taken at gunpoint by her disgruntled lover, Julie Ann Kilgore kept her cool and her life.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Author: Kirk Mitchell The Denver Post
Julie Ann Kilgore says she is not sure how she managed to survive.
When her boyfriend, Dennis Gene Cox , 50, kidnapped her at her home at gunpoint Tuesday afternoon, his intention was to eventually shoot her.
Through four days and three nights of being tied, handcuffed, threatened with a gun and a Taser, shunted among various hiding places and repeatedly raped, the 48-year-old Brighton nurse managed to stay calm and never antagonized her captor.
Finally, on the morning of New Year's Day, after sleepless nights dreading her fate, she heard Cox announce it was time to shoot himself in the head. In a soft voice, Kilgore made a simple plea.
"I said, 'I haven't done anything (to escape),"' Kilgore said Saturday in a telephone interview.
"I've been good," she told him.
He agreed, and then said he had changed his mind about shooting her - but not about killing himself. She then coaxed him to leave their Laramie hotel room.
Her subsequent escape and Cox 's death that night after being shot by Fort Collins police ended an on-again, off-again relationship that had spanned 35 years.
Junior high sweethearts
Cox and Kilgore first stole glances at each other across a cafeteria at North Junior High School in Brighton in 1975. She was 13; he was 15.
"He was a grade above mine, and he would sit with his two friends and stare at me sitting with my two friends," Kilgore said.
Several times during high school they were boyfriend and girlfriend, but she always ended up breaking up with him so she could date other boys.
After he graduated, he proposed marriage and they made plans. But when she finally refused, he joined the Marines, he told her during the kidnapping.
Though Kilgore wouldn't see Cox for decades after he moved to Durango, he would call every few years and tell her they were friends and he loved her forever.
In Durango, Cox worked at his father's music store, married three women and got arrested 41 times for crimes including domestic violence, drug possession and drunken driving.
Kilgore never married and became a nurse, working for many years in emergency rooms, caring for trauma patients. Remaining calm in such stressful circumstances likely prepared her for her ordeal the past several days and saved her life, said her mother, Colleen Kilgore.
At a 2008 high school reunion, Cox , just released from parole after a menacing conviction, and Kilgore met again. A romance quickly blossomed.
He moved to Brighton to live with her and worked in construction. He confessed only that he had been arrested a few times, once after breaking a man's nose during a fight.
Cox doted on Kilgore, waking early each morning to make her coffee, hot tea and honey, and pack her lunch for work. They went camping, rode on his motorcycle and read together.
"I loved him, and he loved me," she said.
Kilgore said she didn't want to discuss what went wrong with their relationship other than to say they argued occasionally. After an argument last Sunday, she told him to go to his parents' home in Durango for a few days to give her some space.
"He thought I was ending our relationship," she said.
"He had this vacant look"
On Tuesday afternoon, she was babysitting her 7-year-old niece at home when Cox , who had driven in his mother's car from Durango, picked the lock to her house and confronted her with a .45-caliber handgun.
"He said, 'This can go one of two ways. You can come with me willingly, or I'll put a gun to your head and put a bullet in your head,"' Kilgore quoted Cox as saying.
"He had this vacant look I've never seen before."
Cox agreed to bring her back home in 15 minutes. Kilgore didn't want to leave her niece alone, but she also didn't want to put her in harm's way. She told her niece to lock the doors.
But when Cox took Kilgore to her Oldsmobile Bravada, he handcuffed her, put her in the back seat, duct-taped her mouth and tied her ankles with string. He forced her to lie down and tied a rope around her waist that he secured to the seat so she couldn't get up.
Cox showed her a Taser and his gun.
"He said he didn't have anything to lose. I had pushed him over the edge. He didn't want to go on any more."
Cox threw Kilgore's cellphone out the window.
They drove around for hours until he stopped at a hotel in Wheat Ridge. But when they entered the room, she told him only "riffraff" stayed there, and he took her to a nicer hotel. Once inside their new room, he closed the blinds and handcuffed himself to Kilgore.
"There was sexual assault throughout the whole time," she said.
When they left the hotel room the next day, she noticed that he had left the handcuffs behind.
Over the next two days, they went to two restaurants. Both times, he warned her that he would shoot the lock of the bathroom door if she locked it.
A few times she thought about snatching his gun, but she knew she would have to use it on him or he would wrestle it away and kill her.
Seeing their story on TV
He was sometimes considerate: buying her carrot juice, loosening her handcuffs and warning her to duck behind the bed if police broke into their hotel and bullets flew.
Wednesday they drove to a Fort Collins motel, but 10 minutes after they arrived and turned on the TV in their room, a news story came on about her suspected kidnapping. He ordered her into his 1993 Ford Taurus, and they drove to Laramie.
He rented a room at the Ramada Inn, but when they saw another news program about them, they moved the car a block away and removed the license plates.
Cox promised her he would release her the next day at 10 a.m. But when the time came, he told her he was keeping her an extra day.
She wasn't naive. She had seen shooting victims in the emergency room and was aware what might happen.
She tried different approaches to coax him into releasing her. He told her he couldn't spend the rest of his life in prison.
Kilgore told him things that she loved about him. He reciprocated.
"'My whole life all I ever wanted to do was live with you,"' she said he told her.
He wrote a will and told her he didn't want a funeral.
The next morning, as 10 a.m. approached, Cox confessed that his original plan was to shoot her. He said he was going into the corner to shoot himself. She pleaded for him not to.
He told her to wait 15 minutes after he left before doing anything. After he closed the door behind him, she crept to the door and silently locked it and waited 5 minutes before trying to call police. The phone didn't work.
She carefully peeked through the curtain and saw a cleaning cart and two cleaning ladies. She banged on the window.
"I started yelling, 'Please help me, please call 911,"' Kilgore said.
She opened the door and ran to the office. When she heard a car driving up, she hid under a desk. But it was a Laramie police officer. She called her father, hysterical.
Cox left his car and somehow made it back to Fort Collins. About 4 p.m., police shot and killed Cox .
On Saturday, the Larimer County coroner's office said Cox died of multiple gunshot wounds.
"I need time to heal mentally," Kilgore said. "I'm still really numb."
Carbon Valley Farmer & Miner (CO)
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Author: MetroWest Staff
Dad: Daughter has "long ways to go" after kidnapping
BRIGHTON – The father of a Brighton woman held against her will for four days by her estranged boyfriend says his daughter "has a ways to go" toward recovery.
Ray Kilgore said Monday his daughter, Julie, was "not ready to talk" and getting some needed rest after a harrowing week of events.
Kilgore, 48, was taken from her Brighton home Dec. 29 at gunpoint by Dennis Cox , 50. She was found safe in a Laramie Ramada Inn New Year's morning. Fort Collins police shot Cox later in the afternoon. He died New Year's night.
"We're private people," Ray Kilgore said. "We don't seek the notoriety that some people do. What we want to do is rest. She's not ready to talk. She talked to the Denver Post (Sunday) and told them more than she's told anyone. We thought that would be the end of it, but it opened up more.
"She's going to therapy, starting (Monday)," Kilgore added. "We just want to get back to normal. She has a long ways to go. We all do."
The search for Kilgore, a nurse, and her ex-fiancée ended New Year's Day in Wyoming and in Fort Collins. According to an interview with the Denver Post, Kilgore said she waited until Coxleft the hotel room where he held her and then banged on the window to get the attention of cleaning ladies.
Cox ditched his car in downtown Laramie and made his way to Fort Collins. According to Fort Collins Police Department spokesperson Rita Davis, three SWAT team officers stopped Coxshortly before 4 p.m. in the 200 block of North College Avenue. Cox allegedly pointed a gun at the officers. Officers shot Cox , who died a few hours after the incident. Laramie County Coroner Patrick Allen, who identified Cox Saturday afternoon, said Cox died of multiple gunshot wounds.
The three officers, who were placed on paid administrative leave, were not hurt. They have been identified as Sgt. Dan Murphy, a 21-year-veteran of the Fort Collins Police Department; Detective Gar Haugo, a Fort Collins police officer for seven years; and officer Marcus Hopkins, a 13-year police veteran.
Kilgore told the Post she rekindled a decades-old romance with Cox during a 2008 high school reunion. But after an argument with Cox Dec. 27, she told him to go to his parents' home in Durango and give her space. She said Cox picked the lock of her home Dec. 29 and confronted her with a .45-caliber handgun. Kilgore, who was watching her 7-year-old niece at the time, said Cox agreed to bring her back in 15 minutes. When the girl's father came to pick up his daughter and realized Kilgore was gone, family members called police.
According to the Post article, Cox took Kilgore to multiple hotels over the course of the next several days in an effort to stay ahead of police and media coverage. She said she was sexually assaulted throughout the ordeal.
Kilgore's father said he hadn't seen much improvement in his daughter since she returned home.
"I thought I did yesterday (Sunday)," Ray Kilgore said. "But today (Monday), no. She's upstairs sleeping. She's exhausted. She doesn't sleep during the day. She's having a hard time. She's going to need a long time."
Cox had an extensive criminal record dating back to 1985, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, it covers five pages. He was charged with kidnapping three times. Cox was released once on bail and sentenced to four years in jail in 1985. Two years after that sentence, Cox was accused of first-degree sexual assault in Arapahoe County.
Cox also faced three charges for marijuana possession and was charged with sexual assault twice. He was charged with threatening a Durango police officer in 1997.
After a seven-year break, Cox found himself in trouble with the law again in 2005. The La Plata County Sheriff's Department arrested Cox for second-degree felony assault in August. He was sentenced to time in the state Department of Corrections. He also drew a two-year sentence in DOC for a felony menacing case in Denver in 2006.
Ray Kilgore had nothing but praise for the Brighton police and the other law-enforcement agencies that helped return his daughter safely.
"They talked about how the system worked, even though someone made it through the line with a bomb," said Kilgore, referring to the aborted terrorist incident in Detroit Christmas Day. "That time, it didn't work. This time, it did. The police, the FBI, the law enforcement agencies all over did as much as was possible. What the Brighton police did was outstanding. They got the FBI involved. It wasn't their actions that caused the results. But they did an outstanding job.