The body of a man believed to have been murdered was found Thursday morning in the Haycamp Mesa area of the San Juan National Forest, according to Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin.
The victim was identified Friday as James Box Jr.,42, of Ignacio, Nowlin said. He had been fatally shot by a handgun. Box is a member of the Southern Ute Tribe.
A suspect, Kevin Wade Folsom, 39, was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder, Nowlin said. Folsom is from Montezuma County.
The crime occurred late Tuesday or early Wednesday off Forest Road 557, which is a spur of the Forest Road 556, known as the Haycamp Road.
Nowlin said a citizen who had heard about the incident contacted him about 5 p.m. Wednesday. Deputies went to the area of the shooting and conducted a three-hour search for the victim.
“We found him about 1:30 a.m.,” Nowlin said. “It is still an active investigation.”
Folsom was arrested about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday after being pulled over near the corner of Colorado Highway 145 and County Road M. His truck was impounded.
Folsom and the victim, plus a unidentified person, had driven together to Haycamp Mesa, and were partying in an area off Indian Ridge road, Nowlin said. He said drugs were involved and that Folsom has a criminal history.
In court Thursday, District Court Judge Douglas Walker issued a $500,000 bond and a issued a protection order. Walker denied a gag order request from the Folsom’s public defender Justin Bogan.
District Attorney Will Furse had requested a $1 million bond, citing Folsom’s criminal history. Prior charges listed by Furse spanned from 1997 to 2008, and included escape, burglary, parole violation, possession of a weapon by a felon, aggravated robbery, vehicular eluding, assault, menacing, and theft.
Furse said the investigation is ongoing and that according to sheriff reports, it appeared there was an attempt to conceal evidence at the scene because snow was moved and there was indications of a shovel.
Walker attributed the high bond to the severity of the second-degree murder allegation and the suspect’s record.
Folsom’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 18 at 1:30 p.m. for filing of charges.