JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — A man who is facing charges in connection with the death of his ex-girlfriend was arrested after he was spotted driving her vehicle days after his ex was last heard from, according to an affidavit for his arrest.
Wayne Lotz, who is a convicted felon with a long history of arrests in numerous states, is accused of killing 55-year-old Michele Scott. According to the arrest affidavit, Lotz's criminal history includes five prior cases of domestic violence in which Scott is the named victim.
Scott was first reported missing by a neighbor on Feb. 13 who said she had not heard from Scott since Feb. 10 and was "concerned for her safety," the affidavit says.
The woman told investigators about the domestic violence issues between Lotz and Scott and reported that Scott told her that Lotz had made comments that he would not go back to prison.
A deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO) met the neighbor at Scott's home, the affidavit says. While there, the deputy spoke with another neighbor, who said that when Scott is away she typically asked him to care for her dogs and horses. That neighbor said it was "unusual" for her house to be locked and told the deputy that a hide-a-key he used to enter the residence was missing, the affidavit says.
That neighbor also reported that he had made plans with Scott to watch the Super Bowl on Feb. 13, but Scott did not show up, according to the document.
The next day, a family member gave neighbors permission to enter the home. The neighbors found Scott's five dogs had not been cared for and found no sign of Scott, so they called JCSO again.
When deputies responded this time it was daylight and they noticed what appeared to be smeared blood on a truck in the driveway and damage to an interior door of the home that appeared to be the result of forced entry, the affidavit says.
Neighbors also reported that Scott's red Toyota Highlander was not in the driveway. A close friend of hers told deputies that Scott was very protective of her vehicle and stated that Scott would never let anyone else drive it.
Investigators searched license plate reader data and found that Scott's vehicle was photographed around 9 a.m. on Feb. 11 near Wadsworth Boulevard and West Arizona Avenue and then again on Feb. 14 around 8:20 a.m. in the area of South Broadway and C-470, the affidavit says.
Deputies also learned that Lotz's truck had been impounded at a towing lot on Jan. 17 of this year due to him being charged with driving under restraint, the affidavit says.
Around 4:30 p.m on Feb. 14 a deputy observed Lotz arriving at the towing lot where his truck was being held in a red SUV. It was later determined that the SUV belonged to Scott.
As Lotz was driving off the tow lot property, he was stopped by a deputy and taken to the sheriff's office. According to the affidavit, the deputy saw a large knife with the blade wrapped in a paper towel inside the vehicle. Lotz also had Scott's credit card in his pocket, according to the document.
When questioned, Lotz stated that Scott was on vacation and that he had permission to drive her car and use her credit card, the affidavit says.
He told investigators that Scott was with a friend and her husband camping in Arizona, however, investigators had already spoken with that friend and knew Scott was not with her.
Lotz reported that his boss had dropped him off at Scott's home on Feb. 12, but his boss disputed that and said he was sick with COVID and had not seen Lotz since Feb. 9 and had not given him a ride anywhere in recent days. According to the affidavit, Lotz also said he drove to Highlands Ranch to pick up his paycheck on Feb. 14, something his boss also said was not true.
Lotz then said that Scott was picked up by "someone" on Feb. 12 and he did not know if that person was a man or woman, the affidavit says.
After reviewing Scott's phone, investigators found that numerous friends and family members had been attempting to contact her since Feb. 11 with no response.
Deputies found Scott's body on Feb. 15 in the area of Pleasant Park Road and High Grade Road, east of Conifer. Her cause of death has not been released.
Lotz is now facing charges of first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, and tampering with a deceased human body, the sheriff's office said.
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