ELBERT COUNTY, Colo. — The Elbert County Sheriff's Office is investigating an apparent murder-suicide involving a man and his young daughter.
"Something like this, especially when a child's involved everybody wants to know the 'why' and we just don't have those answers right now," said Sgt. Jonathan Rollf, with the Elbert County Sheriff's Office.
The sheriff's office said in a release that it assisted the Elizabeth Police Department (EPD) with an investigation into a possibly suicidal person who was with his five-year-old daughter Thursday.
Their investigation had revealed the girl was not kidnapped, but was with a custodial parent who clearly presented a danger to her.
A Missing and Endangered Alert was issued for the girl.
"Unfortunately, there wasn't enough that met the criteria for an Amber Alert because the father did have partial custody of the child, so it wasn't a kidnapping or anything like that," said Rollf. "But, CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigation) made the decision to push out the Missing and Endangered Alert."
Around 10:23 p.m. on Thursday, the Elizabeth Police Department was contacted by a relative of the man in Lone Tree, where the police department had responded to the scene where the 54-year-old man had left personal items and a letter.
"They were concerned that the dad was suicidal and may harm the little girl as well," said Rollf.
Elizabeth officers then searched the town and surrounding area before finding the man's truck at Casey Jones Park near the baseball diamond in unincorporated Elbert County around 2:15 a.m.
Both the man and five-year-old daughter were found dead.
The sheriff's office said the investigation is being treated as a murder-suicide.
"We've had a lot of comments from the community expressing their sorrow and their shock really, and the first responders who had to respond out," said Rollf.
The local community is grieving.
"Tragic isn't a strong enough word," said one user on the Elbert County Sheriff's Facebook page.
"Keep the family of the little girl in thoughts and prayers and also keep in mind those first responders that had to witness all of that and process that crime scene," said Rollf.
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