Utah ex-con arrested in Colorado double homicide

Published: Thursday, Nov. 14 2013 6:25 p.m. MST

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Authorities say a convicted felon who eluded Utah police during a 2005 manhunt by hiding in the woods tried to do the same thing over the weekend in Colorado, after killing two people and wounding another.

Kenneth Foy Lankford is accused of fatally shooting his 51-year-old wife, Terry, inside the couple's home in the Black Forest area northeast of Colorado Springs, according to El Paso County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Kramer.

Investigators believe Lankford is also responsible for the shooting death of Carol Fowler, 51, and the wounding of her 52-year-old husband, Thomas, inside their nearby home, Kramer said.

Deputies found the Fowlers about 8:30 a.m. Saturday after responding to their house on a report of a shooting. Information gathered there led investigators to the Lankfords' house, where they discovered Terry Lankford's body, Kramer said.

"It really was a nonstop and very intense effort on the part of our agency, as well as some other assisting agencies, to put the pieces together as far as locating the suspect and making the arrest," he said.

Based on the evidence they had, authorities identified Kenneth Lankford as their suspect, Kramer said. He was still in the heavily wooded Black Forest area when he was spotted by deputies less than 24 hours after the shootings. There was a brief vehicle chase and then a foot pursuit, the lieutenant said.

"A perimeter was established very quickly," he said.

Tactical teams from the sheriff's office and the Colorado Springs Police Department worked with a Denver police helicopter to find Lankford and take him into custody.

Media reports indicate it's not the first time Lankford, 46, has tried to evade capture by hiding in the woods.

In 2005, police in Moab tried to arrest Lankford on a warrant for a parole violation, according to the Moab Times Independent. He managed to elude officers by fleeing into the woods near the Moab sloughs along the Colorado River, the paper reported.

A two-day manhunt for Lankford was called off after police determined he had slipped out of the search area. He was eventually captured and returned to prison.

Lankford was ultimately paroled in November 2008, according to Department of Corrections spokesman Steve Gehrke, and then discharged from parole three years later. Utah court records show he has prior convictions for aggravated assault, attempted possession of a controlled substance and forgery.

Kramer declined to discuss a possible motive for the weekend shootings, citing the ongoing nature of his agency's investigation. He also said he did not know what kind of relationship, if any, existed between the Lankfords and the Fowlers.

Thomas Fowler was still hospitalized Thursday. He is expected to recover from his injuries, Kramer said.

Lankford remains in the El Paso County Jail, where he is being held without bail for investigation of murder, attempted murder and felony assault.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com

Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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