A 51-year-old man found dead at his home in Durango on April 13, prompting a homicide investigation, has been identified as Michael Bourriague.
La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith said Monday that Bourriague’s family had been notified of his death.
According to a news release, Bourriague was found dead at his home on Plymouth Drive, off Florida Road near Riverview Elementary School.
Smith said Bourriague lived alone but was found dead when his property manager went to check on him after he wasn’t seen for a few days.
The news release, issued last week by the city of Durango, said a medical examiner ruled the cause of death as a homicide.
But Smith said Monday that a cause of death has not been determined, pending the results of a toxicology and histology (skin tissue test), which can take a few weeks.
“We had the call and … it looked like it needed more investigation,” Smith said. “So we went back and we’re doing more investigation now.”
Cmdr. Ray Shupe, spokesman for the Durango Police Department, said Bourriague’s death is being investigated as a homicide based on information from an initial autopsy report.
Shupe said because it takes a while for those reports (toxicology, histology) to be completed, investigators must pursue the case in the direction they suspect it will go in terms of cause of death.
“If we don’t, we lose valuable evidence and information if we don’t treat it as a homicide off the bat,” Shupe said.
Shupe declined to provide additional information about the case, citing an open investigation.
According to his obituary, Bourriague was born in Taos, New Mexico, but grew up in Durango, attending St. Columba School and Smiley Junior High School. He graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in art and business.
Bourriague owned Southwest Painting, the obituary said, and worked in construction and painting in the Durango area. He also volunteered as a DJ for KDUR.
He is survived by his parents, Jack and Nita, of Ignacio; his brother, Peter; and his children Wren, Adrian, Aven and Mirra.