Sheriff’s deputy found dead in southwest Colorado was under investigation

La Plata County Sheriff's Office photo

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. — The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office said a deputy who was found dead inside his home Friday in Bayfield was under an administrative investigation.

The sheriff’s office said Tuesday that 42-year-old Jeremiah Lee provided information about a personal situation in his life during the first week of this month.

It required the sheriff’s office to start an administrative investigation. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation agreed to conduct the independent investigation.

On Oct. 10, Lee resigned from the sheriff’s office. The administrative investigation was not complete at that time.

“Sheriff Sean Smith requested that a Sheriff’s Office Crisis Intervention Team member contact Lee on Thursday to check on his welfare,” the sheriff’s office said.

“The team member made contact with Lee at 9:15 p.m. and reportedly, the conversation went well and the men made arrangements to meet for lunch in the near future.

“Shortly after midnight on Friday Oct. 13, Lee’s home on CR 516 was reported to be on fire and Lee was found inside the home and unresponsive.”

The cause of death has not been determined and the case is under investigation.

Officials have not elaborated on the cause of the fire or the extent of damage to the home.

Lee had worked as a deputy for less than two years after previously working for 18 years for the Durango Police Department.