More than 14 years after Larry Fuller was shot and killed in front of a Baptist church on Goddard Avenue in Ignacio, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation announced Friday that it had arrested a suspect in the cold case.
David Hendren, 38, was arrested May 18 at the Navajo Nation in Arizona, according to a news release. Hendren is awaiting extradition to La Plata County, where is likely to face first-degree murder charges.
Fuller was found slumped over on the sidewalk in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2009. The 49-year old father had been shot as he walked home from the Sidekick Bar, where he and his partner, Paula Silva, had been ringing in the new year.
Silva died in 2015.
In February of this year, CBI became the lead investigatory agency on the case at the request of the Ignacio Police Department. The agency put out a renewed request for the public’s help.
“Through the course of this yearslong investigation, witness interviews were conducted by CBI, which subsequently led to Hendren’s identification and arrest,” said CBI spokeswoman Lisa Kohlbrenner in a news release.
Monyca Escalante, Silva’s daughter, said her mother never got over her stepfather’s death. She called the arrest “unreal.”
Investigators have said they believed the motive for the killing may have stemmed from an altercation that took place at the bar. In a 2010 interview with The Durango Herald, Silva said the couple had stayed out of any conflicts that night.
Escalante said the investigator who informed her of Hendren’s arrest said Hendren told authorities he did not mean to kill Fuller but had mistaken him for someone else.
Kohlbrenner said the arrest is sealed and the agency cannot offer further comment on the case. Details, such as where Fuller was shot, how many times and the weapon used have not been released.
“I never thought, ever, that they were going to figure it out,” Escalante said. “It’s like a dream come true.”
Escalante was 25 at the time of Fuller’s death. Fuller was a father to Escalante, and she described him as a deeply caring and capable person. Silva and Fuller met in 2001, according to a 2010 article in the Herald.
Fuller’s murder haunted the family, Escalante said. For years, she and her two brothers heard rumors in the community that various people had been involved.
“You just lived in fear,” Escalante said. “And my mom, I don’t think she ever healed from it. If she was alive, she would probably cry her heart out, out of happiness and sadness.”