Suspect arrested in Colclough’s murder

By on April 16, 2014
Karen Colclough


 Jackson Hole, Wyoming – UPDATED 9:50 p.m.

The Nicaragua Dispatch is reporting that Karen Colclough was robbed and strangled to death and that Nicaraguan police have arrested Fernando Antonio Aburto, 35, as the primary suspect.

Aburto is believed to have a criminal record including robbery and rape, Dispatch sources report. The paper also reports “Aburto allegedly strangled Colclough to death after stealing her camera. Police tied Aburto to the crime after he sold Colclough’s camera to a local resident for $27. Police say Aburto has scratch marks on his arms, indicating struggle.”

The Dispatch points to “published police reports” that provide more detail to the events that led to Colclough’s death. Apparently Colclough left her hotel, the Barceló Montelimar, to take photographs but when she tried to return she was cut off by the rising tide. At that point Aburto “allegedly approached her and offered to show her an alternative way back to the hotel. Once Aburto got her alone, he allegedly attacked her and strangled her to death,” writes The Dispatch

Colclough was reported missing on April 11. She was traveling with five others on a mission trip organized by Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole and Agros International, a nonprofit working with poor citizens of Central American countries.

Pastor Paul Hayden said the church organizes a mission to Central America twice a year. Colclough had participated in a past mission trip to Guatemala. This was her first trip to Nicaragua through the church.

A Facebook post by Agros International reported Colclough’s disappearance. The post read, “Agros is very sorry to report that a service team member has gone missing. Karen Colclough, with five others from the Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole, WY have been in Nicaragua for a week working in Tierra Nueva.”

The group completed its work and, as is the usual custom with Agros trips, the team had assembled for an end-of-trip debrief at Barcelo Montelimar, a beach resort near Montelimar, Nicaragua. Colclough went missing after a run on the beach prior to this meeting.

– Additional reporting by Christie Koriakin


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