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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    CO - Ray Collins, 57, Salida, July 1987

    New information in a 20-year-old Colorado homicide case involving three Polk County men could have detectives closer to an arrest.

    Friends Dave Caffey, Richard Birth and Ray Collins quit their jobs and set out on a three-month mining expedition to Salida, Colo., in July 1987, with hopes of finding gold and rare gems.

    Three weeks into the trip, a family emergency called Birth back to Lake Wales. A few days later, Caffey said he dropped off Collins, who wanted to see the Grand Canyon, at a bus station in Colorado Springs.

    Later that month, Caffey returned to Florida driving Collins' Toyota pickup, which also held Collins' clothes and mining equipment.

    Collins, who was 57 at the time, was never heard from again.

    http://www.theledger.com/article/200...801260429/1039

  2. #2
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    Feb 2008
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    Ray was murdered.

    Ray Collins was murdered, and it was planned because life insurance was taken out on him by Caffey. Caffey also got $5000.00 cash from Ray for a "lease" to mine the Mt. Antero area. There was no lease. It was public lands. Caffey returned to Florida with Ray's truck, clothes and camping equipment. There are many suspicious circumstances. The police, 20 years ago, thought Ray just wanted to stay gone. The police on the case now are 100% sure he was murdered.
    Ray was my step-father. He was a good man. He taught me to drive. He showed me how to plant a garden. He was my daughter's "Papa" as she rarely saw her real grand daddy.
    I'm so thankful for the top notch police agents on this case now. I expect an arrest soon.

  3. #3
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    Feb 2008
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    Ray Collins

    Ray was from Winter Haven, Polk County, Florida. He was visiting the Buena Vista, Chaffee County Colorado area.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ohio
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    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/c/collins_ray.html

    I can't believe someone would murder a guy over five grand. I mean, I know it happens, but it is so incomprehensible to me. Five grand will barely buy you a halfway decent used car.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2008
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    Ray Collins

    The killer got more than that. Along with the $5,000.00, he got $25,000.00 from the life insurance he took out on Ray. Ray had between $5,000.00-$8,000.00 cash on him. He took his truck and about $700.00 worth of camping gear. This guy is cold-blooded. Check this out.
    http://themountainmail.com/main.asp?...SectionID=&S=1

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Hi: I'm a TV photjournalist here in Chaffee County, Colorado. I've been working on this story all week. It will run on KUSA Channel 9 in Denver sometime this weekend (perhaps Saturday). It will run on KRDO Channel 13 in Colorado Springs, Sunday evening. Both stations, I think, will have it on their Websites. Our emphasis is going to be to try to get people who might remember these men to speak out, or we hope someone will come forward who remembers exactly where their mining claim was.

    I'm sorry for your loss, Paragon.

    Charles Newcomb
    mtntvguy@q.com

  7. #7
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    Feb 2008
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    Smile Ray Collins

    Thank you! Thank you so much for putting this story on the air. The evidence is building.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2005
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    Ohio
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    I knew about the life insurance, but he didn't collect that for years.

    It's terrible that anyone kills a person over something as common as money. They make more money every day. But people are irreplaceable.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2008
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  10. #10
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    Feb 2008
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    Thank you very much. The reporters with whom I worked on these stories (I did the photography, audio and fact-gathering) both did a good job. You might also like to know I submitted the story to Unsolved Mysteries and 48 Hours Mysteries. We'll see where it goes.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    Connecticut
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    I hope something comes from your hard work Mtntvguy! Is Unsolved Mysteries still in production? I know it is syndicated but I don't think it is being produced any longer...too bad if true.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Southwestern Maine is home but I'm not there nearly often enough
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    It doesn't look much of a mystery anymore, hopefully witnesses will step forward following KRDO and 9news stories otherwise the prosecution is left with only circumstantial evidence to work on. No matter how compelling this evidence is, decades-old cases based on such evidence are notoriously challenging to prosecute. Even a very average defense attorney can usually manage to convince a jury that reasonable doubt should apply, and this is further driven in by the judge's address to the jury regarding the definition of reasonable doubt just before they start deliberating, and juries tend to err on the side of caution. When such a verdict is issued appeals are rarely granted -unless new evidence surfaces- because appellate courts cannot blame a lower court judge for explaining the fine points of the law to a jury.

    Then there is the issue of habeas corpus of which this case is so far a textbook example, which could mean that the case may never get any further than a Grand Jury hearing. I find this quite frustrating

  13. #13
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by grievousangel View Post
    I hope something comes from your hard work Mtntvguy! Is Unsolved Mysteries still in production? I know it is syndicated but I don't think it is being produced any longer...too bad if true.
    My entertainment attorney did the contacting, so I'm assuming they're still in production. I'd be very surprised if she gave me bad info. Maybe they're just not doing 13 shows per season, anymore. I guess I'll find out, soon.

  14. #14
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    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarlK View Post
    ...unless new evidence surfaces- because appellate courts cannot blame a lower court judge for explaining the fine points of the law to a jury.

    Then there is the issue of habeas corpus of which this case is so far a textbook example, which could mean that the case may never get any further than a Grand Jury hearing. I find this quite frustrating
    There is currently some physical evidence being examined by the FBI. If it turns out to be what detectives say it is, Mr. Caffey's got a problem.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Southwestern Maine is home but I'm not there nearly often enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtntvguy View Post
    There is currently some physical evidence being examined by the FBI.
    That's good news!

    But still without a body it won't be an easy avenue to a conviction, Caffey's attorney will demand that the prosecution prove that Collins is indeed dead and having one legally declared dead by civil authorities -like Collins was for legal purposes- has no weigh in a criminal trial. The way I see it the prosecution is handicapped by the fact that LE did not consider any wrongdoing until it was much too late to gather solid evidence. Can't really blame LE for considering that prospectors are adventurous -and thus, unpredictable in their movements- by nature and that because of this there was originally no real cause for concern from their point of view. They weren't aware that the three men were not career prospectors and they certainly weren't aware that Caffey had planned the whole thing as a set-up for murder and fraud.

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