By Shari Phiel
Berthoud Police are investigating two deaths in what appears to be a murder-suicide. At 7:34 p.m. Wednesday, July 22, BPD along with the Berthoud Fire Protection District and EMS responded to report of a shooting at 20550 Weld County Road 7, located about 1/2 mile south of Colo. 56.
Officers arrived at the scene of an outdoor birthday party being held with about two dozen guests in attendance and found “Maria-Isabel Erivez-Arzaga, a 36- to 37-year-old resident of Estes Park, … to be dead of gunshot wounds,” according a statement released Thursday by the Berthoud Police Department.
Berthoud Police were joined by officers from the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, Johnstown Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol to assist with the investigation.
Approximately one hour after the first call, officers set up a perimeter around the scene as police searched for the suspect who had been seen earlier driving “a 4-wheeler near Weld County Roads 46 and Weld County Road 7.” Weld County Road 7 between Highway 56 and WCR 46 was blocked to traffic by emergency vehicles as officers searched the area.
Suspected gunman Sergio Leon-Yanez, also aged 36 to 37 years, a resident of Estes Park and believed to be the husband of the victim, was later found by the Weld County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team, dead of an apparent single, self-inflicted gunshot wound. Leon-Yanez was found approximately one mile from the original crime scene in a motorhome, where he had been residing while reportedly working in the area.
Berthoud Police reported that the “crime scene was the location of a birthday part of a relative of the vicitim.”