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Two arrests in bike path death
Sep 6, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer
Those responsible for leaving a man dead and woman beaten unconscious on the Rails to Trails path Wednesday morning are in custody, law enforcement believes.
Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan on Friday identified the homicide victim as David Ronald Moss Jr., 25.
The Fremont County Sheriff's Office and other agencies arrested two male juveniles from Riverton at 7 p.m. Thursday in connection with the attacks, which took place on the path near the All Nations Trailer Park in north Riverton.
Aged 15 and 16 years old, each suspect is charged with one count of second-degree murder and one of attempted second-degree murder. Their identities and identifying information are not being released because of their ages.
Moss died of blunt-force trauma, primarily to the head, according to McAuslan's preliminary investigation.
The investigation is ongoing, and the coroner did not release more details of the cause of death.
"Investigators at this time believe the two acted together, and there are no further suspects at large. However, the investigation is continuing and will for some time," undersheriff Ryan Lee said.
The female victim is in her late 30s. She was still in critical condition and at a hospital as of Friday morning, but the Sheriff's Office would not disclose her location. Earlier reports stated that she had been airlifted to the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper.
Law enforcement executed two search warrants Wednesday afternoon as part of the homicide investigation.
Sheriff's Office, Riverton Police Department and Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation officers executed one warrant in the All Nations Trailer Park at around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Officers at the scene would not confirm if the search was a part of the homicide investigation.
Personnel on the scene wielded automatic weapons and wore bulletproof vests. Starting around 2:15 p.m., they searched the neighborhood before executing the warrant on a mobile home, and stayed on the scene until about 4:45 p.m.
At least one resident, a female, was present, but no arrests were observed. Officers carried out two small, brown paper bags of evidence.
The other search warrant was conducted in the Gardens North subdivision north of Honor Farm Road.
The investigation started after a civilian walking on the Rails to Trails pathway near Comanche Street at the trailer park called police before 8 a.m. Wednesday to report seeing a body nearby.
When officers arrived on scene, they said they found two unresponsive people in the area. One was deceased. The other was transported to Riverton Memorial Hospital before the reported airlift to Casper.
Personnel on the scene were heard talking about a woman with severe head injuries who was alive but unable to speak.
The Sheriff's Office, RPD, Lander Police Department, Wind River Police Department and DCI are collaborating on the investigation.
Lee said the Lander Police Department contributed two squad cars to the investigation because "we were stretched pretty thin."
"We had to secure some areas with marked police vehicles," he said. "They provided assistance."
That allowed the Sheriff's Office to use more deputies to assist with the investigation.
DCI also sent five agents to assist, and WRPD contributed one officer to act as a liaison with the investigation, Lee said.
He said the investigation did not involve residents of the Wind River Indian Reservation or any reservation locations.