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Son arrested in connection with Castle Rock woman's death extradited from Florida

Matthew Buchanan, who was arrested this month in Florida, is being held on suspicion of murder and arson in the death of Elizabeth Bjorlow.

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — The son of a woman found dead in her home after a fire last month has been extradited to Colorado and is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder, the Castle Rock Police Department (CRPD) said Friday.

Matthew Buchanan, 32, was arrested May 3 by local authorities in Monroe County, Florida. He was extradited to Colorado and booked into the Douglas County jail Thursday night, CRPD said.

He was named as a person of interest in the April 26 fire at a Dove Valley Place home where Elizabeth Bjorlow, 59, was found dead and another person was injured. A warrant was issued for Buchanan's arrest early this month.

> The video above aired May 3, when Matthew Buchanan was arrested in Florida.

According to CRPD, Buchanan was being held on suspicion of:

  • First-degree murder after deliberation
  • First-degree murder (criminal attempt)
  • 3 counts of first-degree arson
  • Tampering with a deceased body
  • Criminal mischief
  • Tampering with physical evidence
  • 2 counts of cruelty to animals.

The 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office will decide whether to accept the charges.

RELATED: Son arrested in connection to woman's death, house fire in Castle Rock

Credit: Castle Rock Police Department
Matthew Buchanan

Police said the first call for the fire came in at 2:34 p.m. on April 26. The fire was contained at 2:48 p.m. and no other homes were damaged.

Bjorlow's death was determined to be suspicious. Police did not reveal the cause of death after the autopsy was completed, citing the ongoing investigation.

In a July 21, 2021, application for a restraining order, Bjorlow wrote that Buchanan, whom she identified as her son, threatened to "take my house, my job and my dignity."

In her restraining order application, Bjorlow wrote that Buchanan was supposed to be taking care of his disabled uncle who had lived at the home with them for the past 10 years.

Bjorlow wrote that she returned home July 21 and the door was unlocked. She "reprimanded" her son for "dereliction of duty," and he became "irate," she wrote in the application.

She wrote that she told her son she was "firing" him and he "exploded" and began following her through the house and put his hands around her neck.

Bjorlow wrote that after the incident, Buchanan was "intimidating" her.

She went on to say that Buchanan had threatened her and her husband and her other son who refused to stay in the home due to the threat.

RELATED: Arrest warrant issued for victim's son in Castle Rock fire

RELATED: 'Person of interest' in Castle Rock fire is victim's son, records show

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