BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — The commander who oversees the detectives in the Marshall Fire investigation said the six-month process has been “unique” and “stressful,” and the team is close to showing its findings to the district attorney and the public.
“We really want to do our very best possible, and everybody has been affected in different ways,” Boulder County Sheriff’s Commander Jason Oehlkers said.
Oehlkers said BCSO investigators received a variety of tips from all over the country, including some “very crazy ones,” but detectives wanted to follow up on everything they could.
“We’re completing interviews, looking at photographs, videos and court orders that we’ve served, and really just trying to put everything together into kind of a final document,” Oehlkers said.
He explained that detectives are waiting on a few outside reports to be completed. They are also hoping to talk to a few remaining witnesses who have not previously spoken with law enforcement.
Without knowing what the individuals will say when they are interviewed, Oehlkers said they may be “hugely important or not important at all.”
It takes time for some people to share what they know about an incident of this magnitude, he indicated.
“There’s people, groups, that may feel some type of responsibility or fault or you know, typically, if somebody does something wrong, they kind of want to pull back and maybe not talk or come forward. So we’re trying to work with people to get their side of their story,” Oehlkers said.
While the case will be presented to the district attorney for review, Oehlkers warned that is not necessarily an indication that the sheriff’s office will recommend anyone be criminally charged.
A public presentation, he said, will address several theories about the cause or causes of the fire and explain or debunk them. “I don’t know that you’re going to be super surprised,” Oehlkers said.
Oehlkers said people who have lived on or currently live on the Twelve Tribes property, where some people captured footage of flames during the early phases of the fire, have been cooperative with the investigation.
“We’ve interviewed a number of people,” he said.