Arrests made in murder in northern Boulder County

PROMO Crime - Police Line Cross Light Law Enforcement Investigation - iStock
Published Monday, October 31, 2022

Sunday, shortly after midnight, a deputy with the Larimer County Sheriff's Office attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle that he suspected of DUI in unincorporated Larimer County. The vehicle eluded the deputy in the Berthoud area and was last seen southbound on Highway 287, near Highway 56, when the LCSO deputy stopped pursuing.

A few minutes later, the Boulder County Communications Center received a report of a suspicious vehicle that was disabled in the roadway near Highway 287 at Yellowstone Road in unincorporated Boulder County. It was also reported that people were seen running away from the vehicle. Shortly after that, the BCCC received a call from a hospital in Longmont notifying them that they were treating a patient with an apparent gunshot wound. The victim, a 21-year-old woman from the Denver area, was pronounced dead after arriving at the hospital.

Deputies and investigators with the Boulder County Sheriff's Office and Larimer County Sheriff's Office responded to investigate. Additionally, officers with both Boulder County SWAT and Larimer County SWAT responded to assist with searching the area of Highway 287 and Yellowstone Road for the suspects from the vehicle that had been left abandoned in the roadway. Deputies located four suspects in a camper trailer parked on a residential property in the area and took two men and two women into custody without incident. They were taken to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office to be interviewed by investigators.

Investigators learn through interviews, and the on-scene investigation, that the victim does not appear to be connected to the suspects. It is believed that the victim, who was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by her mother, happened across the suspect's vehicle as it came to a stop near the intersection of Highway 287 and Yellowstone Road. The suspects got out of their disabled vehicle and one of the suspects shot at the victim's vehicle with a handgun, striking the victim. It is believed that the primary suspect had shot at the victims' vehicle to carjack them.

Three of the people were arrested and transported to jail.

Martin Cerda, a 23-year-old resident of the Greeley area, was arrested and charged with:

  • Murder in the 2nd degree, a class 2 felony
  • Attempted aggravated robbery, a class 4 felony
  • Vehicular eluding, a class 5 felony
  • Possession of a weapon by a previous offender, a class 5 felony

Adriana Vargas, a 24-year-old resident of the Greeley area, was arrested and charged with:

  • Murder in the 2nd degree, a class 2 felony
  • Possession of a weapon by a previous offender, a class 5 felony
  • Several outstanding arrest warrants not associated to this investigation

Marissa Ruiz, a 24-year-old resident of the Greeley area, was arrested for several outstanding warrants out of Weld County that are not associated to this investigation

The victim's identity is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Investigators do not have reason to believe there is any ongoing threat to the community related to this incident.

KiowaCountyPress.net may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase products or services through links in an article. Prices, when displayed, are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time. Commissions do not influence editorial independence.

The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at KiowaCountyPress.net.