TELLER COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - The Teller County Sheriff’s Office is explaining why an Amber Alert wasn’t issued earlier this month in connection to the murder of a Colorado boy.
The victim, identified as 5-year-old Liam Brueche, was in the care of his father when the heinous act was carried out in Florissant on Jan. 4. The sheriff’s office is handling the incident as a murder-suicide case. The father was identified as William Brueche.
“I wish that we, as an agency could be there to protect people all the time, but in this circumstance, we couldn’t,” Sheriff Jason Mikesell with the Teller County Sheriff’s Office explained on Jan. 5.
Several people reached out KKTV 11 News wondering why an Amber Alert wasn’t issued and if the Red Flag law could have saved Liam. The sheriff’s office responded to those inquiries on Tuesday:
“We have received multiple requests for information regarding recent events which occurred in Florissant. We would like to provide the community with more information regarding the Murder-Suicide that occurred on January 4th 2023.
One question we received multiple times was as to why an Amber Alert was not issued. On January 4th at approximately 9:27 PM we received a report of a child custody exchange that was to occur at 6:00 PM in the Teller County Sheriff’s Office parking lot. This exchange did not occur. The mother reported that the father had messaged her that he would be late to the exchange due to vehicle problems, the parents had joint custody of the five-year-old male. This exchange was not monitored by the Teller County Sheriff’s Office or required to be monitored. The courts authorize this child custody exchange to happen often at our office and mostly without our knowledge. There were no current protection orders or cases that would identify this case to involve our officers. At 9:51 PM, approximately 24 minutes later, we attempted to locate the father on a “check the welfare for the child” and were unable to make contact with him or the child. At that time, we are operating under the belief that the father had vehicle problems.
The deputies made several more attempts checking the residence throughout the night. The deputies had no information as to the father’s location or his direction of travel. The Colorado Bureau of Investigations requirements for an Amber Alert to be issued requires that a child abduction has occurred and that the child be in immediate danger. At the time of the report by the mother, the father had stated vehicle problems only and we had no reason believe that there was a threat to the child, nor had any domestic violence incident occurred.
The vehicle was located around noon on January 5th. Unfortunately, the video evidence obtained by Teller County Detectives showed the fathers vehicle arriving at the location where the deaths occurred at 6:22 PM on January 4th and the estimated time of deaths is shortly after the video time stamp.
Also, we received many requests as to why we did not utilize the RED Flag law. While the father was a convicted felon a firearm was not used during the incident nor were any firearms found in the vehicle or residence when search warrants were executed. The suspect utilized a compressed air rifle during the incident, by statue compressed air rifles are not considered a firearm and may be purchased online or at a local retailer without state or federal background check. The Colorado RED Flag law pertains only to firearms.
We had numerous request or comments as to why we could not stop this from happening. Although we would have liked to have stopped this tragedy, we had no indication from the information provided that the father would have done such a thing. Based on the timeline from when it was first reported the crime had already occurred.
The Teller County Sheriff’s Office expresses our deepest sympathy to the family, we would ask that the public respect the family and give them privacy to grieve. Not only family and friends but also our first responders. As the Teller County Sheriff, I am proud of all these deputies, and our first responders for the job they do on daily basis. Any conjectures, misleading statements, or false information on social media that are publicized and discussed without a factual basis from all those involved are inappropriate and unnecessary.
I hope this statement helps you find closure and answers to your questions.”
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