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Denver7 Investigates: The journey from tip to accountability

Journey from Tip to Accountability
Darlene and Tanner
South Park Ambulance District
Posted at 9:45 PM, Dec 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-26 11:40:46-05

DENVER — Over the past year, Denver7 Investigates has taken your tips seriously, looking into concerns on behalf of communities across Colorado, resulting in important questions for leaders in power.

This special report gives a behind-the-curtain look at the journey from tip to accountability, spotlighting how trusted sources have helped uncover hidden documents, get families' answers, and reveal truths that would otherwise go unnoticed.

The murder on County Road 243

The first story began with an email from the western slope. An apparent murder-suicide in a remote Colorado mountain town has left a family questioning everything after deputies missed a body and the case remained open for nine months.

Denver7 Investigates spent months looking into the murder on County Road 243 and discovered what the family calls an "inadequate investigation."

While digging, Denver7 Investigates learned the Garfield County Sheriff's Office that handled the case does not have a standard operating procedure for death investigations. The investigative team sits down with Garfield County Chief of Police Lou Vallario, to ask about his policy and explain the painful delays.

Backlogs at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation

Learning of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation's long wait times produced another investigation. The up-to-a-year-long delays stalled critical evidence needed to solve crimes. Denver7 investigates took our questions about the threats the backlog poses to public safety to CBI Director Chris Schaefer.

Problems within the South Park Ambulance District

The third story in this special report came from southern Colorado. An ex-paramedic with the South Park Ambulance District called our investigative hotline with concerns about the handling of a 2021 emergency response when 67-year-old Beryl Harman was left in her home by paramedics and died minutes later.

Her family, as well as veteran paramedics, question the decisions made on scene that day after she called 911 for help, and blow the whistle on what they say is a culture problem within the South Park Ambulance District.

At the center of the controversy are the reports from responders at both South Park Ambulance District and Hartsel Fire Department on the day Harman died. Medical paperwork from the paramedics shows Harman's oxygen levels were dangerously low. Documents discovered by a fire chief uncover testimony of the paramedic on scene.

Denver7 investigates sat down with the Chief of South Park Ambulance District, Kevin Borns, to get answers for the family members Harman left behind.

Denver7 Investigates: The journey from tip to accountability

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