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Lander police withholding IDs of homicide victim, suspect

Sep 13, 2012 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

Lander police chief Jim Carey confirmed the victim of Tuesday's homicide as a 32-year-old of St. Stephen's. He said the suspect is a 24-year-old of Lander.

Carey said the names of the two men are being withheld after a judge signed a non-disclosure order Tuesday restricting the release of the identities. However, he said the agency is confident that the sole suspect is in custody.

"We are not looking for anybody else," Carey said.

Neither law enforcement nor court officials would release the name of either the suspect or the victim. A death notice from the Davis Funeral Home in Riverton, in advance of an obituary, named 32-year-old Travis M. Armajo as having died in Lander on Tuesday.

Carey would not discuss the circumstances surrounding the homicide, but he did say other individuals were "present at different times throughout the events of early morning of Sept. 11, 2012."

Fremont County Attorney Brian Varn said in an e-mail that charges are imminent against the suspect, who is in the custody of the Fremont County Detention Center in Lander. Varn could not discuss why the order was in place.

"We are in the process of collecting and preserving evidence and thereby building our case," his e-mail stated.

Investigation into the homicide has centered on a residence at 947 N. Second St. where police responded after receiving a call at 3:13 a.m. Tuesday about a shooting. Carey said officers located a deceased male with a single gunshot wound to the head lying in a pool of blood inside the home.

On Wednesday, Carey said two other locations were being processed as part of the investigation.

The house where the victim was shot sits on the corner of North Second and Jefferson streets, a few blocks north of the Fremont County Courthouse. Carey said one of the men was renting the house, but he declined to say which one.

A residence one block east, in the 800 block of Four Seasons Drive, and a vehicle have also been processed for evidence.

Carey would not release information about what crimes allegedly occurred at which scene.

Detective Sgt. Fred Cox on Thursday said the vehicle and the residence on Four Seasons Drive were released from custody at 2:45 p.m. the previous day.

He declined to comment about the ongoing investigation.

Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said an autopsy on the victim's body was conducted Wednesday afternoon in Loveland, Colo.

Carey said two LPD officers and agents from the Wyoming State Crime Lab of Cheyenne were scheduled to attend the autopsy. State crime lab agents arrived in Lander on Tuesday to assist with processing the crime scenes.

The entire 200 block of Jefferson Street was closed most of Tuesday while police investigated the scene. The street reopened later that evening, but an LPD officer remained on site throughout the night.

Police canvassed the area for witnesses who might have seen or heard something connected to the shooting. Carey clarified that fliers given to neighbors, fliers stating the LPD was looking to recover stolen property, was an error. He said the flier was a standard form and included information that did not pertain to the crime at hand.

Carey thanked officers of the Wind River Police Department, Fremont County Sheriff's Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation for their "essential assistance."

"This is a drain on our resources," he said. "That's why it's so important for me to say thank you."

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