DENVER (KDVR) — A Denver man was killed outside his home near La Alma Park, and the district attorney has charged a transient man who police investigators say is responsible.
Johnathan Douglas, 34, was found dead on a sidewalk along North Mariposa Street before 7 a.m. April 18 after a man reported seeing someone lying under a tarp. Investigators found his pockets appeared to be pulled inside out, and the front door of his home was open.
“With JD, he was sweet, he’s not an angry guy, he doesn’t get heated or anything. I don’t know what happened exactly,” said Douglas’ roommate, Michelle Glancey.
Stig Strong faces multiple counts in Douglas’ death, including first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and second-degree burglary.
Police say surveillance video helped lead them to the suspect.
Surveillance video leads to murder suspect
After checking surveillance cameras in the area, investigators narrowed in on a man who was seen walking up and down the street, checking cars and appearing to disappear into a yard in the area the night before, according to an arrest document.
Investigators then saw a man confront the suspect. Investigators said the suspect appeared to be holding a flashlight, and ended up standing over the victim on the sidewalk before leaving.
The medical examiner ruled Douglas died from blunt force trauma. Investigators noted lacerations and facial fractures when examining the body.
After getting a search warrant, police could not find the victim’s phone, wallet or keys in the home. They sent a warrant to the cell phone company to track the phone, which led them to the area of Santa Fe Drive and 13th Avenue.
That’s where investigators found Strong and took him into custody. Strong told investigators the man told him to get out of his yard, which led to a confrontation.
He was charged by the Denver District Attorney’s Office with first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and second-degree burglary. The DA’s office confirmed Strong is homeless.
Victim ‘had a huge heart’
Glancey was not home the night of her roommate’s death and has been staying with her boyfriend in the week since.
“We’re just gonna miss him a lot. We’re all just gonna miss him. He’s the kind of guy that you would see every night, you know, we’d talk in the kitchen,” Glancey said. “It’s hard to be in the house now without him there, and I just miss him a lot.”
Glancey said Douglas was kind and passionate and cared a lot about the bartender community. The two worked together at a whiskey bar LoDo called Seven Grand. Douglas attended Camp Runamok to meet more colleagues and the industry. His friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help with his memorial services.
“He was really kind. Had a huge heart, just out of nowhere thoughtful. Really caring. Very loyal,” Glancey said. “Really like, if you needed him, no matter what, if you hadn’t talked to him in days or months or years, he would be there.”
Strong is scheduled to be in court to be advised on charges on April 28.