(FREMONT COUNTY, Colo.) — A man suspected of killing a couple back in December 2022 has been arrested, according to the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO).

Suspect of double homicide near Howard arrested
Courtesy of Fremont County Sheriff’s Office

41-year-old Eric Michael Escobedo was charged with First-Degree Homicide, two counts of crimes against an at-risk adult, burglary and menacing, according to the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO).

Escobedo was arrested by deputies with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, March 31. FCSO said Escobedo was identified through forensic DNA analysis.

On Dec. 21, 2022, deputies responded to a structure fire in the 3800 block of County Road 4 near Howard. While on a neighborhood canvas linked to the fire investigation, a deputy noticed the door of a home in the 4000 block of CR 4 was left open.

When the deputy approached the open door, they saw what appeared to be a person on the floor with obvious injuries. A second body was later discovered, also with traumatic injuries, FCSO said.

83-year-old Carl Cooper and 75-year-old Susan K. Cooper were identified as the victims of a double homicide by the Fremont County Coroner on Dec. 28, 2022.

Escobedo was taken into custody after the house fire that originally brought deputies into the neighborhood. He was found suffering from burns and exposure at the scene. Escobedo was later known to be the owner and resident of a property in the 3800 block of CR 4.

FCSO said the house fire and double murder are not connected.