Menacing suspect arrested near Mt Herman area where cyclist was shot; link to Indiana murders probed

Posted at 12:31 PM, Sep 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-28 20:34:17-04

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. – A man arrested Monday on a weapons charge, who is suspected of menacing people in the Mt. Herman and Monument areas where a well-known cyclist was recently found dead, is also under investigation by authorities in Indiana in possible connection to the murder of two teens earlier this year.

Daniel Nations, 32, was arrested Monday by Woodland Park police on a charge of possession of a weapon by a previous offender after an officer pulled him and his wife, Katelyn, over because their vehicle had a broken taillight.

According to the affidavit, two of the couple’s children were in the vehicle with them at the time.

The officer who pulled their vehicle over had been advised that it was the same vehicle that had been involved in menacing incidents allegedly involving a hatchet in late August in the Mt. Herman and Monument areas.

Once the officer pulled the vehicle over, he discovered that both Daniel and Katelyn had outstanding warrants from other states, and Daniel was a registered sex offender out of the state of Indiana. Their car also had expired plates.

Online records confirm that Nations was convicted of indecent exposure in South Carolina in 2007.

Officers asked nations if he’d been the person menacing people with a hatchet. He said that he had shaken his fist at someone when they allegedly tried to run him off the road, but denied having a hatchet in his hand.

“We’re not that kind of people,” Nations told the officers, according to the affidavit.

Officers also discovered a .22-caliber rifle in the vehicle, which Katelyn said she’d recently bought for protection after their car was broken into.

El Paso County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrived to interview the two, and afterward arrested Daniel on the weapons charge, as Nations had been convicted of felony domestic violence in Indiana in December 2015.

Nations was in court in Teller County on Wednesday for the weapons case, and was back in court Thursday in Cripple Creek for an unrelated hearing. Colorado court records show he also has a pending misdemeanor charge out of Georgetown for a false identification/false reporting charge from July.

Authorities haven’t directly linked Nations to the suspected murder of 61-year-old cyclist Timothy Watkins, who was found shot dead on a road west of Monument Sept. 17 three days after he’d left for a bike ride and never came home in the same area of the alleged menacing.

Nations hasn't been charged with menacing or murder at this time.

Now, Indiana State Police say they are investigating to see if Nations might be a suspect in the February murders of 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German in Delphi, Indiana.

The two girls went missing while hiking and were found dead a day later. Some in Indiana say Nations’ mugshot looks like an image and sketch of the suspect in the girls’ murders, according to our news partners at The Indy Channel.

Indiana State Police say they haven’t “definitively” connected Nations to the murders but are continuing the investigation.

"We are aware of the arrest of the person in Colorado and are investigating to see if he could be a suspect in the Delphi double murder investigation. Please keep in mind the Indiana State Police has received more than a thousand photos of persons alleged to be similar in appearance to the composite sketch of the Delphi person of interest. Each and every one of these tips are investigated for any potential connection to our case,” Indiana State Police said in a statement.

“We will give the same attention to the person arrested in Colorado, but right now there is nothing that definitively connects this person to our investigation. If that should change - with this tip, or any other tip - rest assured we would be sharing such news with all media sources."

Nations’ bail on the weapons charge was set at $10,000 originally, but was reduced to $2,000 at Wednesday’s court appearance. Court records show he was still in custody as of noon Thursday.