On the night before she was supposed to start high school, 15-year-old Amanda Hanson is the victim of a murder. Two hikers found her body Monday evening near Manitou Avenue in Manitou Springs. Investigators say she was beaten and her body left along a wooded footpath on the west edge of town
On Tuesday evening, 21-year-old Michael Baldwin was arrested in Farmington, New Mexico. He is charged with first degree murder and will be brought back to Colorado next week to face charges.
The arrest warrant has been issued for 18-year-old Benjamin Stokes, who live with Baldwin at an apartment in the 1200 block of Manitou Avenue. Stokes will be charged with accessory to first degree murder, criminal impersonation, and forgery. He was arrested at the same time Baldwin was in Farmington, New Mexico on unrelated charges, and he is presently being held at the San Juan County detention facility in New Mexico.
Sheriff's detectives, through witness statements, determined that Stokes left the crime scene with Baldwin and was with him as he escaped to New Mexico. During that time, it is alleged that Stokes assisted Baldwin avoid capture. When contacted by the San Juan County Sheriff's Office he gave a false name and then later signed documents using that false name.
A teenaged girl is in custody in Colorado Springs, charged with an accessory to first degree murder. Detectives say the girl drove Baldwin to the Pinion Truck Stop, so he could catch a ride to New Mexico.
Sheriff's Department spokesperson Melissa Hartman says Baldwin and Hanson were dating, and the other girl was Baldwin's former girlfriend.
Amanda Hanson went to Tesla Educational Opportunity Center last year, a District 11 alternative school. Grief counselors were on hand at the school to talk with Amanda's friends. She was supposed to begin classes Tuesday at Coronado High school.
A family friend of Amanda Hanson has set up a fund to help her mother pay for funeral expenses:
Canon National Bank
3204 West Colorado Ave.
Colorado Springs, CO 80904