Arrest in Monument Murder

By: KKCO Email
By: KKCO Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office announces an arrest in the homicide of Kathy Fortner, the woman found dead near the entrance of the Colorado National Monument.

David Norman is in custody and has been booked on charges of Second Degree Murder, Tampering with Evidence and False authorities.

49-year-old Kathy Fortner’s body was found by tourists taking a picture near the Monument’s Fruita entrance on July 2nd. The Mesa County Corner says she died from blunt force injuries to the head.

Boyfriend Made Missing Person Report

The arrest affidavit says David Norman called to report his live in girlfriend, Kathy Fortner, missing. He said he and Fortner had gotten into an argument late at night on July 1, 2013 and she left their house without her purse or any money or ID. Toward the end of a conversation with police, he also mentioned Kathy suffered from seizures and without her medicine she was at risk for having a seizure.

According to friends, Kathy Fortner moved to Grand Junction late last year from Mississippi.

Surveillance at the Monument and at a local car wash

Closed circuit video cameras at the Colorado National Monument show a truck with a male driver slow or stop near the area where Kathy’s body was found. One camera angle shows the driver, who investigators identify as David Norman. Investigators also looked at footage from a local car wash, about a half hour after the truck was at the Monument, Norman spends about 15 minutes washing his truck, paying “special attention to the truck bed” according to the affidavit.

Suspect has a violent past

A background check of David Norman shows he spent several years in prison for Felony Assault and Robbery. He was arrested in Dillon in 2002 and was released on parole in February of 2012. The arrest affidavit also says he was convicted in 1993 in California for receiving stolen property and arrested in Oklahoma in 2000 for carrying a firearm after a felony conviction.

Norman was taken into custody the night Fortner’s body was discovered on a parole violation, he’s been locked up at the Mesa County Jail ever since.

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