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Gag order in place in murder case

A gag order is now in place for information in a case regarding the murder of an Archuleta County man.

That order, put in place by Sixth Judicial District Court Judge Greg Lyman on Sept. 19, means involved parties are not allowed to release any details about the case.

Maxwell

Maxwell

More specifically, the suppression order is in place while the suspect in the case, Kevin Dale Max Maxwell, 57, also of Archuleta County, proceeds through the legal system.

Maxwell was arrested on charges of second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and obstruction of government operations on Sunday, Aug. 17, after the body of a man deemed missing was found the previous day.

Jesse Hanson-Colburn, 34, whom officials searched for over the course of several days after he went missing on Aug. 12, was found deceased the afternoon of Aug. 16.

The following information was obtained from Undersheriff Rich Valdez and Detective Lando Garcia, both of the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office, prior to the gag order.

Hanson-Colburn

Hanson-Colburn

Hanson-Colburn, also of Archuleta County, went missing on Aug. 12 around 7:30 p.m., when he failed to show up at his house after reportedly leaving a friend’s house on the lower Blanco River with the intention of taking his canoe down the river to his house off of Trujillo Road.

Hanson-Colburn’s mom, who shared his house, reported that he failed to show up, Valdez explained.

On Thursday, a search operation ensued, with that search including 35 to 40 individuals and a helicopter, with several other agencies notified and on call to help.

At about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, an individual not associated with the search reported finding a canoe and the body of an adult male partially in and partially out of the river near mile marker 34 on Trujillo Road, Valdez said. That body was identified as belonging to Hanson-Colburn.

According to Valdez and Garcia, indicators on the body, as well as the position of the body and the location of the canoe, were inconsistent with washing down the river and led investigators to suspect foul play.

Through the subsequent investigation and interviews, ACSO personnel made contact with Maxwell — reported to be the last person with Hanson-Colburn — and Maxwell was arrested Sunday morning, Valdez explained.

An autopsy was conducted Aug. 20 to determine the cause of death, but those results are not currently available due to the suppression order.

This story was posted on August 28, 2014.