2 years later, no suspect named in mountain biker murder

Tim Watkins (foreground); El Paso County Sheriff's Office investigators survey an area near where Watkins' remains were found in 2017 (background).
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PALMER LAKE, Colo. (KKTV) - Two years after Tim Watkins went out for a mountain bike ride and never returned home, his killer remains at large.

This weekend marked the anniversary of Watkins' murder, and the case remains no closer to be solved than it was back then.

Watkins, 61, was a popular figure in the Pikes Peak region mountain biking community, a "legend" as one friend put it. He was shot to death while riding Mount Herman Road.

"It really was an honor for me to build a bike for Tim Watkins, knowing that he would ride it," friend Jeff Tessier told 11 News reporter Robbie Reynold in an interview Saturday.

That was the bike Watkins was riding when he died.

Tessier said two years on, he was frustrated that the family still did not have closure.

"Every day I wait and hopefully hear something like a break in the case -- 'somebody said something, somebody heard something' -- and we have a new lead going in a new direction. ... I'm thinking more of the family and closure for that family and what they must be going through not knowing what happened."

To date, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office has not named any suspects publicly. Our news partners at The Gazette reported last year that a prosecutor and EPSO investigators vetted multiple persons of interest, but none ever rose to the level of a suspect, including Daniel Nations, who was arrested shortly after Watkins' murder for allegedly threatening hikers and bikers with a hatchet near Mount Herman Road.

Tessier holds out hope that someday the case will be solved.

"To finally know exactly what happened. What went on out there on the mountain. Was this somebody he was trying to help, and then they turned on him? Was it an accident, that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? What exactly happened."