U.S. Marshals and multiple law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma have reportedly arrested a Colorado fugitive suspected of triple murder, among other crimes. 59-year-old Harry Mapps, of Pueblo County, Colorado is accused of three first-degree murders, arson, forgery and assorted thefts. He has been fleeing justice since late November after three bodies were discovered shot to death following a house fire in the small town of Rye, Colorado.
On Nov. 27 of this year the bodies of 51-year-old Reginald Tuttle, 55-year-old Kim Tuttle, and 33-year-old Dawn Roderick, the Tuttles’ daughter, were discovered shot to death inside the Tuttles’ home. The home had been set ablaze, in what is suspected to have been an attempt to cover up the murders. The fire has been officially declared an arson and has previously been described by firefighters at the scene as having been “dynamic” and “massive.” The victims were apparently shot while sleeping.
The Tuttles have been referred to by those who knew them as kind and generous people. They are survived by a son. In addition to her brother, Dawn Roderick left behind a devastated husband and four children. Roderick had reportedly been visiting her parents for the Thanksgiving holiday at the time she was murdered. Roderick’s husband, Mark, said that he was in disbelief following the tragic murders of his wife and in-laws. Of Mapps, he said he had never seen any indication that he had a temper or was violent.
Mapps reportedly worked for the Tuttles on some home repairs and worked for Reginald Tuttles’ trucking company. He rented a room from them in their basement, having separated from his wife, Sandy, last spring in his home state of Texas. He reportedly cashed checks for an estimated $8,000 from their bank accounts after the murders and the arson with which he has been accused.
Following the horrific crimes, the Pueblo County Colorado Sheriff’s Office enlisted the help of multiple law enforcement agencies and the public in their nationwide manhunt. Wanted posters were created and a reward of $5,000 was offered for information leading to Mapps’ arrest. He was considered armed and dangerous.
Despite hundreds of tips, the effort to apprehend Mapps took more than a month to result in the Oklahoma arrest of the Colorado fugitive suspected of three murders. The search was made more difficult by the fact that Mapps’ is a former over-the-road truck driver with extensive knowledge of both interstates and back roads throughout the country.
Officials report that they located Mapps, one of the most wanted fugitives in the country following the triple murder in Colorado, in Roland, Oklahoma where he had apparently been staying in a motel close to the interstate. Roland is approximately 700 miles away from the site of the murders. Mapps is known to have lived in Oklahoma in the past. The capture is attributed to cooperation between multiple law enforcement agencies including the cooperative efforts of U.S. Marshals in Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma. A spokesman for the Colorado U.S. Marshals said “the successful outcome of this large-scale manhunt is a testament to the combined efforts of law enforcement across numerous states and jurisdictions.”
By Michele Wessel