ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. -- A missing person's case that began in January near Conifer is now a murder investigation; a body has been found and a suspect is in custody.
The remains of 28-year-old Joseph Brinson were found Wednesday around 9:30 p.m. in the 42000 Block of Ridge Road near Deer Trail, 70 miles east of where he was last seen.
Friends say they knew something was wrong the minute Brinson disappeared.
"It was terrible," says Quincy Lyon. "It wasn't like Joe, it definitely wasn't like Joe."
According to Lyon, Joe was a daredevil, fond of outdoor activities.
"He would go off bike jumps, and even if he crashed, he'd get up and try it again," he says. "He was just an all around great guy."
Lyon says he's not sure if, or how, Brinson and Quinlan know each other.
"I don't know him at all," he says. "I just want answers. I want to know what happened, how it happened, and what was the motive."
Brinson's family spent the last two and a half months praying and hoping he'd be found safe and sound. Police found forensic evidence which led them to believe it was a crime scene.
Neighbors said they heard one gunshot and saw three unidentified people, but Brinson was nowhere to be found.
Jefferson County Sheriff's detectives told FOX31 they believe they have one of those people in custody. One day after Elbert County Officials found Brinson's body, Blake Quinlan (18) has been booked into the Jefferson County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Quinlan’s first court appearance had not yet been scheduled as of the time of this publication.
Detectives said they still need help with motive and more witnesses.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson, Mike Taplin, told FOX31, “The case is still active an ongoing and our investigators are asking that anyone in the area of Ridge Rd and County Road 82 in Byers recalled anything out of the normal or suspicious around the dates of January 17th on please call the sheriff`s tip line.”
Jefferson County tip line: 303-271-5612