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Mesa County Coroner’s Office releases identity of suspicious death related to residential fire

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 11:28 AM MDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 4:00 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest for a suspicious death related to a residential fire.

On Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 4:15 p.m., the Grand Junction Fire Department responded to a report of a residential fire on the 500 block of 29 1/2 Rd near Parkway Drive. After extinguishing the fire, crews found a deceased adult female inside. The death was ruled to be suspicious and MCSO began an investigation.

According to the sheriff’s office, approximately 10 minutes after the fire was reported, the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center received a 911 call with information about a person that may have been involved in the incident.

The suspect was identified as 33-year-old Kellan Hoyt, he was located at a residence in the 3100 block of Covey Avenue and was taken into custody by deputies.

Hoyt is facing the following charges: Murder in the First Degree (F1), First Degree Arson (F3), Tampering with a Deceased Human Body (F3), Tampering with Physical Evidence (F6), and Second Degree Assault with Intent to Cause Bodily Injury by Strangulation (F4).

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has completed their examination and today they released the identity of the deceased as 80-year-old Grand Junction resident, Mary Cruthers. The coroner ruled the cause of death to be due to an incised wound on her neck, the coroner also ruled the manner of death as a homicide.

This is an ongoing investigation. If anyone has information about this case, please call the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office Witness Tip Line at (970) 244-3526.

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