(TELLER COUNTY, Colo.) — The Teller County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) has released additional information related to the murder-suicide that occurred in Florissant on Wednesday, Jan. 4, in an effort to answer inquiries about the lack of an Amber Alert or use of the Red Flag Law to prevent the death of a five-year-old boy.
TCSO posted on Facebook on Tuesday, Jan. 31, in response to requests for information after a father and his five-year-old son were found dead in a truck following a missed child exchange in the parking lot of the Sheriff’s Office.
According to TCSO, an Amber Alert was not issued for five-year-old Liam Brueche because the Sheriff’s Office had no evidence that Liam was in danger, and was operating under the assumption that his father, 53-year-old William Brueche, had been experiencing car trouble before the missed child exchange.
TCSO said the Sheriff’s Office became aware of the situation at 9:27 p.m. on Jan. 4, after Liam’s mother, who had joint custody of Liam, called them to report that a court-ordered child exchange from 6 p.m. had not occurred as planned. Liam’s mother reported to deputies that William had messaged her earlier in the day, stating that he was experiencing car trouble and would be late for the exchange.
TCSO said the exchange was not monitored by TCSO, nor was it required to be monitored. TCSO clarified that “the courts authorize this child custody exchange to happen often at our office and mostly without our knowledge. There were no current protection orders or cases that would identify this case to involve our officers.”
TCSO attempted a welfare check at William’s home just before 10 p.m. on Jan. 4, but no one answered. At that point, deputies were still operating under the assumption that William had been having car problems, but did not know his whereabouts or direction of travel.
“The Colorado Bureau of Investigations requirements for an Amber Alert to be issued requires that a child abduction has occurred and that the child be in immediate danger,” TCSO said. “At the time of the report by the mother, the father had stated vehicle problems only and we had no reason to believe that there was a threat to the child, nor had any domestic violence incident occurred.”
William’s truck was found around Noon the next day, on Thursday, Jan. 5, in Florissant, with William and Liam’s bodies inside. TCSO said video surveillance footage obtained by Teller County Detectives showed William’s truck arriving at the location at 6:22 p.m., where the deaths occurred on Wednesday shortly after the timestamp.
TCSO said they have also received questions as to why the Red Flag Law was not utilized to stop William from obtaining any weapons, because he was a convicted felon. TCSO said a gun was not used in the murder-suicide, but instead, William used a compressed air rifle. Colorado Red Flag Laws pertain only to firearms.
TCSO also expressed their condolences to the loved ones affected by this incident and said they hoped to dispel any doubt that the Sheriff’s Office could have prevented the deaths. “Although we would have liked to have stopped this tragedy, we had no indication from the information provided that the father would have done such a thing. Based on the timeline from when it was first reported the crime had already occurred.”
“The Teller County Sheriff’s Office expresses our deepest sympathy to the family, we would ask that the public respect the family and give them privacy to grieve. Not only family and friends but also our first responders. As the Teller County Sheriff, I am proud of all these deputies, and our first responders for the job they do on daily basis. Any conjectures, misleading statements, or false information on social media that are publicized and discussed without a factual basis from all those involved are inappropriate and unnecessary.”