Search for answers continues after a mountain biker was shot and killed in El Paso County nearly 5 years ago
EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office continues to ask for help in the death of a mountain biker who was shot in El Paso County nearly five years ago.
On Sept. 16, 2017, the Palmer Lake Police Department was notified of a missing person, Tim Watkins. His body was found in the Mount Herman area, just off the Limbaugh Trail. As of Thursday, no suspects have been named.
“We ask the community for assistance, specifically anyone with any possible information concerning the death of Mr. Watkins to come forward,” the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a news release. “Even the smallest piece of information could be extremely valuable within the context of the overall investigation and what is known at this time. This case remains an active and open investigation, and all leads will be vetted.”
Watkins’ family tells 11 News that they don’t want the public to forget about him.
“At this point we just want to make sure people are aware that a killer has never been caught for his murder,” said daughter Arielle West. “... Right now, my hope is pretty dwindled down to just about nothing, and at this point it just feels like we’re clawing for maybe just some answers of what happened that day.”
To date, investigators still don’t know who killed Watkins and why. The lone person of interest -- who would go on to plead guilty to threatening hikers and mountain bikers with a hatchet on Mount Herman Road -- was ultimately never charged in the Watkins case and has since served out his jail sentence.
“Why did he get shot? Was it an accident? Was it intentional? We don’t know. Why was nothing taken, like his bicycle and stuff like that? You know, if it was to gain something, it’s like they didn’t gain anything,” West said. “So I’m just wondering in my mind who this person is and why they did it and I would love to have an explanation someday, but I’m not sure with it being five years now if I’m going to get that.”
“Where he was actually killed was actually his backyard playground,” she added. “He helped build trails in that Mount Herman area. He designed a map for that whole area to show people where trails and such were so that they wouldn’t get lost. He’s loved mountain biking for forever, and it was his everything.”
West says her father has missed out on so much in the five years he’s been gone.
“The thing that comes to mind with every year when this happens, it’s just the things that were missed, like the big life events, like this year is the fifth year … My daughter just started kindergarten, last Christmas she got her first bicycle and started riding it without training wheels. All those things come up that he didn’t get to be here for that he was robbed of those times, and I know he would’ve cherished to be here.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 719-520-7777.
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