Gunshot caused death of Denver consultant

News Staff
Gunshot caused death of Denver consultant
Wed Jan 30 00:04:38 2002

Man's body discovered in van confirmed as suicide victim

Gunshot caused death of Denver consultant

By News Staff

An autopsy report has confirmed that a man whose body was found in a
van parked in the Pike National Forest last week committed suicide.

Snowmobile riders discovered the body of James Daniel Watkins, 59, in
a snow-packed parking area off Rampart Ridge Road in Douglas County
on Dec. 1.

The discovery came nearly two weeks after the Jefferson County man
had been reported missing.

Watkins' body was lying in the back of his locked 1998 Ford Econoline
van partially covered in a sheet, according to the Douglas County
autopsy report, which was released Tuesday.

Watkins died of a single gunshot to the right temple.

A .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun was found lying near Watkins'
right hand, according to the report. Investigators also found a note.

Watkins had been missing since the afternoon of Nov. 13, when he left
work at the downtown Denver accounting firm of Arthur Andersen.

Watkins, a telecommunications consultant, was described by his wife,
Pat, during an interview last week as a devoted family man who always
called home if he was going to be late.

She later said the family was "brokenhearted," but she declined to
comment further.

Officials initially said the death was suspicious and were awaiting the
autopsy findings before ruling whether it was a homicide or a suicide.

The condition of the body, which had apparently been in the car for a
long time, delayed the autopsy, said Wes Riber, Douglas County's chief
deputy coroner.

December 12, 2001,1299,DRMN_15_905941,00.html


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