UPDATED 3/18/11 9:00 a.m.
Murder Suspect Found in Montrose Apartment, Dead From Gunshot Wound
by Beverly Corbell
Mar 18, 2011 | 12190 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Ryan Craig Peterson
MONTROSE — A man found dead after a SWAT team standoff Wednesday night was a “person of interest” in the deaths of a Montrose couple found dead by their 15-year-old son on Monday morning.

Cmdr. Gene Lillard of the Montrose police said his office got a tip from the Montrose sheriff’s office that the suspect in the deaths of Scott Clarke, 34, and Kama Sanburg, 49, was holed up in the Sunshine Peak Apartments on San Juan Avenue.

The Montrose coroner said in news release Thursday afternoon that the couple were victims of homicide and died from gunshot wounds.

The suspect, 19-year-old Ryan Peterson, was already being sought by authorities for four outstanding warrants. Since he turned 18, Peterson has had a string of arrests for breaking into cars, theft and DUI. He would have turned 20 in May.

The SWAT operation began around 5 p.m. Wednesday, Lillard said, and when it was over, Peterson was found dead inside the apartment, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Dr. Thomas Canfield, the Montrose coroner.

The couple’s son found their bodies at their home on 6030 Road in Montrose County around 8 a.m. on Monday, March 14, according to Sheriff Rick Dunlap.

After receiving the tip that Peterson was in apartment N-202, Lillard said, the police department went into action, first by setting up surveillance in the early afternoon to try and arrest Peterson peacefully. They also evacuated the apartment complex and sealed off the area.

“We were advised there was a gun in the residence,” Lillard said.

Around 5 p.m., officers shot out a window with a “beanbag round,” and threw in a telephone to try to talk to Peterson. They had no response, so next they used a bullhorn, still hearing nothing, and finally managed to get a camera in the apartment, which detected no movement.

No gunshots were fired by police, Lillard said, and no shots were heard from the apartment. Eventually, police shot tear gas into the apartment and when they entered, they found Peterson’s body.

About 15 officers took part in the operation, Lillard said, with help from a few sheriff’s deputies. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was called to investigate what is currently classified as “an unattended death,” Lillard said.

Montrose police have been on high alert since the discovery of the bodies Monday, Lillard said, which have sent shock waves throughout the community.

“It’s tragic for everybody and a heck of a ripple effect for everyone in the valley,” Lillard said.

UPDATED 3/17/11 10:45 a.m.
Murder Suspect Found in Montrose Apartment, Dead From Gunshot Wound


MONTROSE — There’s no official confirmation, but a man found dead after a SWAT team standoff Wednesday night is assumed to have been a suspect in the deaths of a Montrose couple found dead Monday morning.

Cmdr. Gene Lillard of the Montrose police said his office got a tip from the Montrose sheriff’s office that a suspect in the deaths of Scott Clark, 34, and Kama Samburg, 49, was holed up in the Sunshine Peak Apartments on San Juan Avenue.

The suspect, 19-year-old Ryan Peterson, was already being sought by authorities for four outstanding warrants. Since turning 18, Peterson has had a string of arrests and an arrest record for breaking into cars, theft and DUI. He would have turned 20 in May.

The SWAT operation began around 5 p.m. Wednesday, Lillard said, and when it was over, Peterson was found dead inside the apartment, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

No information was released from either the Montrose Sheriff’s Office or the Montrose County Coroner. The coroner, Dr. Thomas Canfield, is out of town and his office said no information will be released until he returns next week. Sheriff Rick Dunlap would not speak with The

Watch and his office referred inquiries to the county public relations person.

No information has been released about just how Clark and Samburg died, only that their 15-year-old son found their bodies at their home on 6030 Road in Montrose County around 8 a.m. on Monday, March 14.

After receiving the tip that Peterson was in apartment N-202, Lillard said, the police department went into action, first by setting up surveillance in the early afternoon to try and arrest Peterson peacefully. They also evacuated the apartment complex and sealed off the area.

“We were advised there was a gun in the residence,” Lillard said.

Around 5 p.m., officers shot out a window with a “beanbag round,” and threw in a telephone to try to talk to Peterson. They had no response, so next they used a bullhorn, but still received no response. Finally, officers managed to get a camera in the apartment, which detected no movement.

No gunshots were fired by police, Lillard said, and no shots were heard from the apartment. Eventually, police shot tear gas into the apartment; upon entering, they found a body believed to be Peterson.

“It appeared the victim had died of a gunshot wound,” Lillard said.

About 15 officers took part in the operation, Lillard said, with help from a few sheriff’s deputies. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was called to investigate what is currently classified as “an unattended death,” Lillard said.

Montrose police have been on high alert since the discovery of Clark's and Samburg's bodies Monday, Lillard said, which have sent shock waves throughout the community.

“It’s tragic for everybody and a heck of a ripple effect for everyone in the valley,” Lillard said.

UPDATED 3/16/11 10:15 a.m.
Couple Found Dead Identified by Montrose Coroner; 'Person of Interest' Sought by Sheriff

MONTROSE - A Montrose couple found dead by their 15-year-old son Monday morning have been identified as Scott Michael Clark, 34, and Kama Ellouise Sanburg, 49, according to Dr. Thomas Canfield, Montrose County Coroner.

Canfield said in a news release that the cause and manner of death are currently under investigation and pending autopsy results.

A press release from Canfield states that the two were found early on March 14 at 16378 6030 Road in Montrose County.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release that it is looking for 19-year-old Ryan Craig Peterson as a “person of interest” in the case. Sheriff’s investigators want to interview Peterson in connection with the discovery of the two bodies, but he is also wanted on four outstanding warrants issued in Montrose County. Those warrants include failure to appear on a traffic offense, failure to comply with probation, driving under restraint and trespassing, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Peterson was arrested six times between June of 2009 to December of 2010, mostly for misdemeanor offenses, but with convictions for felony trespassing of an automobile with intent to commit a crime and misdemeanor larceny theft.

Peterson is described as a white male, 5 feet, 6 inches tall, 135 pounds, green eyes, with short brown hair. Peterson is believed to still be in the Montrose area, and anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office at 252-4020 or 249-6606.

Montrose County Sheriff Rick Dunlap said in a television interview that the boy who lived at the home on 6030 Road had discovered the bodies at 8 a.m. and called 911 to say said his parents were dead. Whether the 15-year-old is the biological child of both of the deceased is not known. Dunlap said the boy was traumatized but was being cared for.

Authorities have been tight-lipped about the case, and have not said whether foul play was suspected. Late Tuesday, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Bobbi McCoid said the only new information was that a car belonging to one of the victims was found in town, but did not say what significance that would be to the case. Both victims lived at the house on 6030 Road, she said.

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