Daryl Rasmussen, aka Ms. Puppy, indicted by grand jury for 2011 double murder
It was a case as weird as it was disturbing and tragic. Back in February 2011, the bodies of Ronald Ford and Ramiro Sanchez were found in their west Denver home, and shortly thereafter, cops started searching for a cross-dresser known as Ms. Puppy and later identified as Daryl Rasmussen. But while Rasmussen was busted in California that summer, charges in the Ford and Sanchez murders didn't stick -- until a grand jury indicted him this week. Details, photos and the indictment below.
Big photos below.
As we reported in August 2011, Ford, 63, and Sanchez, 56, were partners in life and in La Fabula. The eatery opened in 2000, earning a middling review from Westword in June of that year, and shutting down in 2002.
Ford's body was found in his Stuart Street home on February 11, and initially, Sanchez was considered a suspect. But crime scene photos reportedly led a commander to suspect that there may have been more than one victim in the attack and ordered that the house be reexamined. Cops subsequently found Sanchez's body in a basement, beneath bags and other random items.
The pair had last been seen alive on January 24. Both died of blunt-force trauma to the head.
Even before Sanchez was eliminated as a suspect by his own death, the cops were on the lookout for another person -- a cross-dresser known as Ms. Puppy who was said to have been homeless prior to moving in with the couple several months prior to the murders. The following month, he was identified as Rasmussen, and a series of photographs were released. The first one pictured Rasmussen in masculine garb....
...as did the second:
And the third? It's a surveillance image that purportedly captures Rasmussen in his Ms. Puppy guise:
No immediate sightings followed -- but the circulation of the images appears to have paid off. On August 1, a visitor to a Palm Springs, California bar called Score noticed a patron who resembled photos of Rasmussen he'd seen while in Denver. Cops called to the scene asked for Rasmussen's ID, and he provided the late Sanchez's, the indictment maintains.
In the beginning, Rasmussen was held on outstanding warrants in Texas and Georgia rather than the Ford and Sanchez killings -- and nailing him for these homicides proved to be a difficult task. As noted by the Denver District Attorney's Office, it took until earlier this year for Rasmussen to be charged in Colorado -- and those beefs were limited to theft, identity theft and criminal impersonation. However, a judge subsequently dismissed the case, reasoning that probable cause evidence wasn't sufficient.
Nonetheless, the investigation continued, and in October, a grand jury was impaneled to consider the case. And on Wednesday, grand jury members not only handed down a slew of indictments against Rasmussen, including two counts of first-degree murder, but it also named four other people -- Colette Mary Pawnee Leggins, Mario Joseph Hall, Wanbli Cabrera and Filiberto Garivay Lopez -- as participants in a conspiracy that helped the accused slayer with a stolen car and other items.
What convinced the grand jury?
Continue for more about the indictment of Daryl Rasmussen, aka Ms. Puppy, including additional photos and an original document.