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3 face murder charges after Aurora kidnap victim found dead in Douglas County

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Posted at 4:02 PM, Jan 02, 2022

AURORA, Colo. — Three people are facing murder charges after a missing woman believed to have been kidnapped in Aurora was found dead in Douglas County on Friday.

The body of the missing woman, whose identity has yet to be released, was discovered near North State Highway 83 and Russellville Road in Douglas County on Thursday. She appeared to have been shot to death, according to the Aurora Police Department.

Three Wyoming residents — Shantel Edlund, 43, Casey Childers, 39, and Leo VanBuskirk, 23, — were arrested Wednesday in Sheridan, Wyoming on unrelated complaints but are now facing first-degree murder and kidnapping charges in connection with this case, police said.

Aurora police believe the three suspects, driving a 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, kidnapped the 29-year-old woman on Nov. 6 from the area of East Colfax Avenue and North Victor Street in the city. Police said the suspects’ car was seen the next day in the area where her body was found.

The next month, on Dec. 16, Fort Collins police reached out to the Aurora Police Department regarding the missing woman case they had been working on, according to an APD news release. It’s unclear if the victim lived in Fort Collins.

At this point, Aurora investigators determined the Fort Collins missing woman case was connected to the Nov. 6 alleged kidnapping. Investigators worked to identify the suspects and secured warrants for their arrest.

The three suspects currently remain in custody at the Sheridan County Detention Center.

No other details surrounding the circumstances of the alleged crimes are known and are pending a release of an arrest affidavit.