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Nathan Leon murder: Pizza delivery man's body found near recycling center (65)

nathan leon 205x205.jpg
Big photo below.
"They didn't take his phone. They didn't take his car. Twenty bucks and maybe a pizza? That's worth his life?"

These very good questions are posed by Bernadette Alness, mother-in-law of Nathan Leon, a 27 year old whose second job was as a pizza delivery man. Hours after going missing from work, his murdered body was found in an open space area near a recycling center. The unfortunate details, plus photos from happier times, are on view below.

According to 7News, Leon, known by his friends and family as Nate, was working at a Domino's Pizza outlet near East 40th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard when he was called on a delivery. When he didn't come back by 2 p.m. on Sunday, his fellow employees called the police.

nathan leon 2.jpg
Leon's driver's license photo.
A few hours later, at about 5:45 p.m., members of the Golden Police Department received a call about a body found near the Rooney Recycling Center, reportedly from a man who'd been flying model planes. Officers responding to the 151 Rooney Road scene soon discovered a man identified by the Denver coroner's office as Leon. Although a cause of death hasn't been announced at this writing, he had an apparent gunshot wound.

Katie Barnhart-Leon, Nathan's wife, and the mother of their two young kids, kept those on her Facebook page abreast of the situation. On Sunday, she posted remotely, "Got a call from the Denver police to come to the station.... Pray that they have some news about my husband."

nathan leon and katie.jpg
A photo of Nate and Katie after their wedding.
Unfortunately, that news was terrible. "They found a body," she wrote shortly thereafter. "They believe it is my husband....." This note was followed by a lament from the heart:
Tonight I lay here with a million thoughts running through my head.. I look at my two beautiful little girls as they are having their sweet innocent dreams with no cares in the world.. What are they gonna say in the morning when daddy is not there.. How do you look at your children and explain to them daddy may never come home?? How Do I go on the rest of my life without my best friend, my soulmate, the father of my children, my everything and try to stay strong... I love my husband with all my heart and soul...tonight I ask you lord please please please return my husband home safely if not for me than for our daughters sake.. Please lord..... :,(
nathan leon and katie 2.jpg
Katie and Nate.
Barnhart-Leon later posted, "Today is gonna be the hardest day of my life," before adding, "R.I.P MY LOVE... :,(" and this image:

nathan leon rose.jpg
Katie repeats the last words on this graphic: "Keep this rose going for anyone in heaven that you loved and lost and keep in your heart."

If you have any information about who may have committed this terrible act, phone Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867); a reward of up to $2,000 is being offered in the case. In the meantime, our condolences to Katie and Nate's friends, family and loved ones.

Look below to see a 7News report on the case, followed by an interactive graphic showing the area near where Leon's body was found. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."


View Larger Map

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Warren Watson, person of interest in Claudia Miller homicide, arrested in Idaho (64)."


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29 comments
Denvermom
Denvermom

Thank you to the Westword for actually writing a decent article about this horrible murder. All the DP seems to want to cover is the government official that was also horribly murdered.

fridley38
fridley38

Another family DESTROYED by the State of Colorado.....the state CREATED the homicidal maniac who did this!

fridley38
fridley38

Ebel was so TORTURED & DESTROYED by Colorado Department of Corrections that he killed the Director and then had to kill a pizza man for gas money to get out of town...

fridley38
fridley38

You can blame the State of Colorado & Colorado Department of Corrections......

Another one of their  MILLION DOLLAR REHABILITATED FELONS released directly to the streets homeless, broke, unemployable....AND WANTING REVENGE for what was done to him.....

fridley38
fridley38

You can blame the State of Colorado & Colorado Department of Corrections......

Another one of their  MILLION DOLLAR REHABILITATED FELONS released directly to the streets homeless, broke, unemployable....AND WANTING REVENGE for what was done to him.....

poise777
poise777

We mourn with the family; but rest assured that God will punish all evildoers. Blessed are those who die in the Lord. for we shall see them again when the Lord returns. Leon is just sleeping.

pfcthatsme
pfcthatsme

This is very sad. Today while in the elevator I overheard a woman talking about this young man. She worked with him and said he was a good man. Just tragic. My prayers go out to his family.

pfcthatsme
pfcthatsme

This is very sad. Today while in the elevator I overheard a woman talking about this young man. She worked with him and said he was a good man. Just tragic. My prayers go out to his family.

Rindi Gray
Rindi Gray

Awful! My heart goes out to Nate's family and friends. RIP

Mozart99
Mozart99

Westword please continue to make these stories as personal as you can, as you have here.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Are there any funds being collected ? If so, PLEASE post the information . I don't trust FaceBook & do my best to avoid the site but WILL if that's the only way to share what I can .

Danny Ferguson
Danny Ferguson

Horrible! Who would do such a thing! Not a true human....

Kristina Waldo
Kristina Waldo

very sad...$20 and a pizza praying for peace for his wife and girls though it doesn't seem possible I will pray :(

Cayla Boese
Cayla Boese

my husband just told me that he went to high school with Nathan. I wish I knew his wife so i could just give her a huge hug :((

Michelle Anthony
Michelle Anthony

R.I.P NATE xoxo Hope they finder his killer and fast WARM THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS TO ALL HIS FAMILY AND HIS BABIES :(

Jimmy Jonas
Jimmy Jonas

Solve the crime and dominos needs to pay restitution to this family.He should have never been sent out on this delivery.

Jen Symank
Jen Symank

So senseless, my heart is with those little girls and Mrs. Leon.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Mozart99 We do our best to make it clear crimes aren't just statistics. Thanks for the post, Mozart99.

suzieqpmp
suzieqpmp

@Juan_Leg  Bank of the West, memorial fund for Nathan Leon.... money will be used for the benefit of all three daughters and his wife.

zoloftn151
zoloftn151

@Jimmy Jonas You have to be kidding me. Why should he have not been sent on this delivery? Do you know something that the rest of us do not know? What did Domino's do wrong that warrants restitution?

zoloftn151
zoloftn151

@poise777 If Leon is just sleeping, wake him up and tell him his kids are at home waiting for him. Absurd bringing "your lord" into this terrible tragedy. 

usapatriotintx
usapatriotintx

@zoloftn151 Any pizza company who delivers should have a physical address to deliver to.  In this case, the murderer requested delivery to a vacant field. It may not prevent a crime, but it sure can reduce the chance of something like this happening.

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