Police Fear Missing Colorado Springs Mom Dead

By: KKTV Email
By: KKTV Email

Colorado Springs police say they're now investigating Debbie Heriford's disappearance as a homicide. Police say they hope she's alive but they fear her body might be found in Southern Colorado.

"We're now investigating this as if it's a homicide we believe Debbie's body will probably be somewhere in our viewing area either in El Paso County, Teller County, or Pueblo County," Colorado Springs Detective Derek Graham said.

This new information comes Friday in a news conference held by CSPD. Investigators say they now fear that foul play is involved, although no suspects or persons of interest have been named at this time.

"She didn't show to work on Friday, totally out of character for her, not talked to her sister who she talked to daily so there were a lot of concerns when we initially got involved that there may be something suspicious," Graham said.

Heriford hasn't been seen since March 31. Coworkers got worried when she didn't show up for work. On the night of April 4, police towed Heriford's car from her home and continued to search through her garage, and through her computer records and emails for evidence. There were no signs of forced entry. The only thing missing was Heriford’s keys, cell phone and dog.

"It is my guess that she went out Thursday afternoon to take the dog for a walk and something happened because she just never came home," Heriford's daughter, Sarah told 11 News. The dog was found behind a local business and has since been returned to the family.

More than a month later, Heriford's two daughters have filed a restraining order against their father, who was in the middle of a divorce with Debbie at the time of her disappearance. According to court records, Sarah Heriford filed a restraining order against her father, Harold Heriford, on April 8th. In it, she says she fears for her safety. She also claims he has been trying to get his hands on items from Debbie's house.

Debbie's other daughter filed a similar restraining order. She says her dad threatened her in a text message saying, "If you don't give me what I want we are going to have issues."

The papers were filed just days after Sarah Heriford spoke with 11 News about her mother's disappearance. She said, "You never think this happens to you."

During the emotional interview, she told 11 News that her parents were going through a divorce, but didn't think it had anything to do with the situation. 11 News has learned that Heriford’s final divorce hearing was set for May 24th.

In the last few weeks, the community has come together in support of the Heriford family. Fliers with Debbie's picture have been posted in businesses around town, and search parties have been organized. Many people even attended a candlelight vigil held in Debbie's honor. But there are still no signs of the missing mom.

11 News has been trying to get in touch with both Sarah and Harold Heriford for comment on the case, but we have not heard back from either one.

If you know anything about the case, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by not surprised Location: c/s on Aug 17, 2011 at 03:21 PM
    well...today may bring some answers to some very sad questions?????
  • by anonymous 2 on Jun 4, 2011 at 06:31 PM
    The husband was not the chief of any police, merely an enlsited man in an administrative role at Peterson. he did not just retire, and has been paying Debbie long before it was ever ordered by the court. They had a long marriage, most of which was plesant, however things dminished with time. The separation was LONG over due and both parties moved on. Her disappearance is tragic, however it does not make his life any better, in fact it greatly prevents him from moving on!
  • by Colorado Location: colorado on May 22, 2011 at 01:27 PM
    @Mayor Ryan "to be polite" You are the moron. These statistics are all over the place. Who are you to tell that woman she is not capable of thinking with an open mind??? Cause your mind is so open? You've already eliminated a suspect with your harsh response!! Are you a cop? Do you have any evidence? This is a blog to let people give their opinion, so you are allowed yours but Martha is not allowed hers?
  • by yours truly Location: colorado springs on May 12, 2011 at 01:51 PM
    She did not commit suicide. She loved her life. A few bumps in the road is all that the drama from the divorce caused. Her faith carried her through life with a smile. Even now, as so unsettled as things are right now, I know she is smiling in the Lord. The police are doing an amazing job, and just because everything they are doing may not be in the public eye, rest assured, it's being done. I miss you......
  • by Mayor Ryan Location: COS on May 7, 2011 at 06:30 PM
    @Martha to be polite. You are a complete moron. You espouse numbers like 80% with no factual data to back your claim. Your claim that women are mere killing fodder for husbands is not only ridiculous, it is absolutely insulting. Women are not a victim class. Hopefully the police is investigating with a more open mind than you are capable.
  • by Martha Location: Colorado Springs on May 7, 2011 at 04:43 PM
    When women are killed about 80% of the time the husband or significant other is responsible. Hopefully they are investigating the husband further. Sad to learn that his own children had to file restraining orders.
  • by Minority Report Location: COS on May 7, 2011 at 05:01 AM
    Are you people insane? Wouldn't a more likely scenario be she committed suicide? Another being she just walked away from her life? The high pressure of a divorce will make people do anything. To accuse with no facts in evidence is reckless. Suicide is classified as homicide. Which is probably why the police are saying the body will turn up. At any rate, why not wait until all facts are in BEFORE you settle on a verdict.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 7, 2011 at 07:27 AM in reply to Minority Report
      ...and leave her dog loose? Not likely.
      • reply
        by Report on May 7, 2011 at 09:19 AM in reply to
        So killing oneself is acceptable but not at the risk of leaving the dog loose? Better to leave it loose and hope it gets care than to have it starve for days in a remote place. Blinders tend to make you blind to the obvious.
    • reply
      by Concerned on May 7, 2011 at 10:08 AM in reply to Minority Report
      I know Debbie, and there is no way that she commtted suicide, or walked away from her life. Just because they haven't told people everything does not mean that they don't have evidence or new findings in the case. If the police are saying that her body will be found in So Colorado, they probably have some insight. They would not just come out and conclude that it is a homicide. If they told the public everything they know, they wouldn't be able to run a full investigation.
    • reply
      by SpringsMom on May 7, 2011 at 03:46 PM in reply to Minority Report
      I know one of the daughters and her parents had been separated for a long time. I doubt she committed suicide.
      • reply
        by Report on May 7, 2011 at 06:46 PM in reply to SpringsMom
        Doubt is not evidence. All I am saying, all options and theories remain in play until all the facts are in. Suicide is often unrecognized. People always say, they know someone and then it happens, and surprise is the first reaction. Anyone claiming to know a person that well is overestimating themselves or underestimating just how unique an individuals inner most thoughts can be.
  • by Yours Truly on May 6, 2011 at 09:28 PM
    Colorado Springs police putting the body somewhere?? I'm pretty sure they are out for to find the truth and go where the evidence leads them. Regardless of where or to who that may lead to. Wouldn't you want the same had it been your mother who went mysteriously missing?
  • by Pete Guy Location: Colo Springs on May 6, 2011 at 04:29 PM
    The husband work on the base, and knows all the ins and outs since he led the base cops. There has been a bunch of construction on the base, and he knows people and areas. Dont forget to consider the base as a possible dumping area for her body too. The husband is involved, somehow. He would think the city cops would not look there too much, but a city cop is city smart and an AF cop is not up to par with a city cop. Bust this guy!
  • by I Think Location: CS on May 6, 2011 at 12:15 PM
    Her husband is the retired chief of Peterson AFB Police and he is friends with city police. She wanted half his retirement check, which he just started collecting. The husband is very much involved, I THINK.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 6, 2011 at 04:16 PM in reply to I Think
      scary the poilice "think" the body will show up soon, does that mean they will be putting it somewhere soon?
    • reply
      by Steve on May 8, 2011 at 09:17 AM in reply to I Think
      By Law she is entitled to half of his retirement provided they had been married 10 or more years which they had been.
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