The unidentified victim’s belt buckle. Photo provided by Park County Sheriff’s Office.
(Cody, Wyo.) – The investigation into the Little Sand Coulee homicide is progressing as deputies continue to receive and follow dozens of leads provided by the public. They also continue to analyze evidence from the crime scene as well as forensic reports received from both the Division of Criminal Investigation laboratory in Cheyenne and the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on the decapitated body.
The body was found by a hunter and his son on Jan. 0.
“According to the final report from the forensic pathologist, the victim died of multiple gunshot wounds,” according to Sheriff Scott Steward. “The report also indicates that the dismemberment occurred post-mortem, however we’re still unsure if the killing was done at the scene of the discovery or somewhere else, even outside our jurisdiction. We simply do not sufficient evidence to make that determination.”
This past weekend, deputies deployed specially trained cadaver dogs in and around the area of the crime scene in an attempt to locate the missing body parts. While the search produced no new evidence, there are plans to continue similar searches in the future, weather permitting.
Also, the design of the victim’s belt and buckle has been identified as being similar to “piteado” which is a particular craftsmanship currently indigenous to some villages of Mexico and Guatemala. The piteado is particularly popular among the community of “charro” meaning horsemanship or cowboy.
“This is not to say that the victim was from those regions,” said Sheriff Steward. “It is simply a design native to those areas. It would be irresponsible of us to eliminate any possibilities at this stage.”
The sheriff’s office will continue to aggressively pursue this investigation with primary focus on identifying the victim and bringing his killers to justice. Anyone with information that may assist in this investigation is encouraged to come forward by contacting the Park County Communications Center at 307-527-8700. Any information provided will remain confidential.