Bodies of husband and wife discovered in Rangely home

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RANGELY I Rangely police officers were called to a private residence at roughly 2:30 p.m. on June 1, and responding officers found the bodies of a husband and wife who resided at the residence on East Rio Blanco Avenue.

Rangely Police Senior Patrolman TiRynn Hamblin said Tuesday that a relative of the victims reported the bodies to the police department and that the Rangely Police Department, the Rio Blanco Sheriff’s Office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and investigators from the Ninth Judicial District’s District Attorney’s Office have or are taking part in the investigation.
Hamblin identified the bodies as being those of James Lehi Smith, 55, and his wife, Chantel Richards Smith, 42.
He also reported that autopsies have been done on the bodies and that one was identified as being a suicide victim and that the cause of death of the other is still pending because of outstanding toxicology reports.
Hamblin he said it is impossible to make any assumptions of a murder/suicide or any cause of the other death without those toxicology reports.
He also did not provide information as to the method used to commit suicide or what the possible weapon may have been in the other death.
“I just can’t give you the cause of death at this point,” Hamblin said. “We are going to have to wait for the toxicology reports.
“I believe I can safety say that we don’t think anyone else is in danger,” he said.
The Town of Rangely’s website stated that the other death will be treated as a homicide until the investigation turns up facts indicating otherwise.
Rio Blanco County Coroner Dr. Albert Krueger was reportedly out of town and unavailable for comment.