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  1. #16
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    Colorado Cold Cases: Belt buckle found with body suggests mountain biking pioneer is victim

    The discovery of a bicycle-sprocket belt buckle amidst human bones told family members of a mountain biking pioneer all they needed to know.

    “We believe the remains of our brother have been found. The belt buckle was very unique. I’ve never seen another one like it,” said Fountain Hills resident Karl Rust of bones he believes are those of his brother Michael Damian Rust.
    Investigators from the Saguache County Sheriff’s Department sent him a photograph of the belt buckle, he said. He said he knew immediately that it was his brother’s.

    Rust said law enforcement officers will ultimately confirm the identity of the bones, but as far as he is concerned his brother is no longer lost.

    “Now it’s up to the sheriff’s office to investigate what happened,” he said.
    The question on the minds of family and friends is whether the discovery of those bones is the last piece of evidence needed before murder charges can be filed.

    “That’s our long-range hope that people who did this should pay the price. It would be a great way to start the new year,” Rust said.

  2. #17
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    Michael Rust vanished from his isolated home in the Rio Grande National Forest. According to the Valley Courier newspaper, the Saguache County sheriff immediately asked the CBI for assistance.

    That first weekend, "hundreds of acres [were] crisscrossed by searchers on foot, on horseback and on motorcycles, looking for Rust or the bright red and white motorcycle [he rode]," the Valley Courier reported. "Private helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft were used, including two military Blackhawk choppers and a C-130 multi-engine USAF aircraft."

    The human remains found this year were buried between Highways 17 and 285 in Saguache County, near the northern side of the national forest. That's about 100 miles away from where Keller was last seen — much closer to where Rust disappeared.

    The Denver Post recently quoted a Rust family member as saying a belt buckle found with the bones probably belonged to Rust.

    If that is true, an agonizing mystery will be solved for one missing man's family.

    The Kellers will be left to grieve and wonder.

    http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/l...llers/346394/#

  3. #18
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    Answers sought in disappearance of Colorado Springs mountain biking pioneer

    http://gazette.com/answers-sought-in...rticle/1573138

    When a distinctive belt buckle was discovered, along with human remains, in January at a spot about 5 miles from Rust's cabin, those fears were all but confirmed for people who knew the amiable 56-year-old, a 1991 inductee to the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

    Authorities haven't made an official identification, but "there's little doubt that it was his body," said Brian Gravestock, of Colorado Springs, who counted himself "really, really close friends" with Rust and often built bike frames with him in the early days.

    The grim discovery lends new context to a documentary about Rust's life and disappearance, "The Rider and the Wolf," released last year by Salida-based Grit & Thistle Film Company and filmmaker Nathan Ward.

  4. #19
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    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...issing-in-2009

    Human remains found in early January have been identified as a man who went missing seven years ago after his home was burglarized.

    Michael Damian Rust, 62, was reported missing in Saguache County in 2009.

    A friend said Rust called and said he was following tracks from his burglarized rural home. He was reported missing three days later.

  5. #20
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    http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-...rticle/1575691

    A Colorado Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman said the investigation into Rust's death is ongoing. No suspects have been named. The cause of death is unknown, pending completion of an autopsy report.

    Family and friends accepted his death long ago. Last month's confirmation "ends seven years of frustration, of anger, of turmoil, of anxiousness, of not knowing," said his brother, Carl Rust. "To be honest, we're glad we've gotten to this point."

    The family will not a hold a memorial service in Mike's honor. Instead, they plan to cremate his remains and scatter his ashes across a place he quietly called home for several years.

  6. #21
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    https://www.denverpost.com/2016/06/2...-bike-pioneer/

    Charles Moises Gonzales, 46, of Saguache County also has been charged with first-degree burglary, tampering with evidence, abuse of a corpse and additional charges in the death of Michael Damian Rust...

    Investigators do not believe Gonzales and Rust knew each other.

  7. #22
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    Well the key point in that article was:
    A Colorado prison inmate has been charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 cold case murder of a member of the Colorado Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

  8. #23
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    Gonzales bound over on first-degree murder of Rust

    http://www.themountainmail.com/free_...288213f3d.html

    A visiting judge ruled late Wednesday (November 30th) there is probable cause to try Charles Moises Gonzales, 46, on all four counts in the murder of Michael D. Rust – first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, tampering with evidence and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

    Judge Adele Anderson delivered her decision in the preliminary hearing at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. She explained she could not dismiss the fact Rust was assaulted and shot from behind, contrary to Gonzales’ claims in his confession that the two struggled over the gun and Rust was accidentally shot.

    She dismissed the defense’s claim there was no proof of a burglary at Rust’s home, asking, “Why would Rust leave in such a hurry and tell (his woman friend about the burglary); he didn’t just make this up.”

    “We’re very pleased – it’s been almost 8 years and we are finally starting to see justice for Mike, who isn’t here to explain his side of things,” Rust’s brother Carl commented following the hearing. Another brother, Marty, was also present for the hearing. “Now we can have a happy Christmas,” a third family member commented.
    Gonzales’ son, Michael Gonzales, alerted the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office to the location of Rust’s body. Colorado Bureau of Investigation agent Pat Crouch, agent Kevin Koback and Saguache Deputy Wayne Clark were present for the interview conducted Oct. 23, 2015. Crouch testified at the hearing Wednesday.

    Michael Gonzales told Crouch he wasn’t sure why his father’s name was linked to the Rust murder. The elder Gonzales was mentioned as a possible suspect in the case at the time of its occurrence because of his criminal background and the proximity of family property Gonzales frequented to Rust’s property.

    The son said his father also had written a letter to his mother stating he knew where Rust’s body was and would claim the reward for locating it after being released from prison. That indicated to him, he said, his father knew something about the murder. He said his father had admitted to killing four people in New Mexico and belonging to a mafia-associated street gang.

  9. #24
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    So the killer was turned in by his own son! When I posted about finding the body a few months ago I assumed someone had stumbled across the body or burial site--that perhaps it had been partially dug out by animals or something...

  10. #25
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    I'm so glad the lowlife perp has been found and am thankful his son did the right thing by going to LE with the info he had.

    RIP Michael. Such a senseless waste of another precious life.


  11. #26
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    Rust murder trial underway

    https://www.alamosanews.com/article/...trial-underway

    A trial began this week in Saguache for Charles Moises Gonzales, 47, charged with the murder of Saguache area resident Mike Rust, 56.

    Gonzales was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, tampering with evidence and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

    His trial is scheduled through December 12. Jury selection began on Monday in district court in Saguache.

  12. #27
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    Guadalupe Gonzales testifies in murder trial

    Sometime before January 2015, G. Gonzales said, then sheriff Mike Norris asked him if he could come out to his property and dig into some of the holes there. Gonzales replied sure, as long as he could be there when they came. At the time, however, Gonzales’s wife was ill and he had to postpone the dig, he explained. Later she passed away and Gonzales said Norris “gave me time” before he asked again.

    In the meantime, G. Gonzales said, he spoke to his son Charles in late 2015 (December) and told him the sheriff wanted to dig up the holes. That is when Charles told his father they couldn’t dig “because they will find him,” as his girlfriend Susan Lewis testified Thursday. Lewis was with Gonzales during the visit. Gonzales’s voice rose and he became agitated on the stand as he recounted the visit.

    “Charles said he [Rust]was shooting and following him, came onto the land and he told me ‘he was going to kill me.’ He said he whacked him with a board and he fell down. According to G. Gonzales, Charles also told him, “It was either him or me.” G. Gonzales asked Charles why he did not call the cops “then and there, those were my exact words. Between that and my wife, I was gone.”
    Coroner testifies at murder trial

    “It’s wonderful when someone thinks they know the identity of the remains,” he told Newmyer-Olsen. “It puts us months ahead versus someone who is ‘nameless.’” He added that the skeleton was “almost complete. It’s always nice to have everything.”

    The mandible of the skeleton was still intact and Rust was identified through dental records.

    Brux said he found internal beveling from a gunshot wound to the back of the skull, but no knife marks on the bone. He concluded by restating that the cause of death was a gunshot wound and manner of death was determined to be a homicide.
    Charles Gonzales’s son Michael testified he spoke to Saguache County Deputy Wayne Clark about Rust’s whereabouts in October of 2015 “because he already knew about it.” Clark picked Michael up in Saguache after seeing him at a local store and drove him to the property where they met Guadalupe Gonzales.

    He spent 10-15 minutes there, he told Deputy District Attorney Brandon Willms and “showed him where the hole was.”
    Inmate: Gonzales admits to killing

    Philip Romero, the last witness for the day Monday, said Gonzales asked him for an opinion concerning a case he was about to present to his lawyers. According to Romero: “He told me he passed the property and he was having problems at one time coming down [from the mountains]. He got into a staring contest with this guy, said he got out of the truck and shot him.”

    Gonzales also told Romero he “broke into his house, stole a gun and shot him with his own gun. He also said something about some marijuana. Said he had a hard time putting his body into the back of the truck and he took and buried him.”

    Newmyer-Olsen asked him why he decided to testify and he said, “It bothered me. I wanted to get it off my chest.” He also testified that he had made a plea deal with authorities for early release after serving 14 years of his 16-year sentence. He additionally told Newmyer-Olsen he had never heard the name Michael Rust before.

  13. #28
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    How Mystery of Mountain Bike Pioneer Mike Rust's Death Was Finally Solved

    The mystery behind the death of Colorado mountain-biking pioneer Mike Rust has finally been solved. Yesterday, December 7, a jury in Saguache County found Charles Moises Gonzales guilty of killing Rust, whose remains weren't found until nearly seven years after he vanished in 2009 under mysterious circumstances.

    As we've reported, Rust, nicknamed "Mike the Bike," didn't invent mountain biking, but he's credited with helping to popularize the sport both as a competitor and as a behind-the-scenes technician whose innovative spirit is still being felt today.
    The Saguache County jury found Gonzales guilty of all the counts pressed against him, including first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, tampering with physical evidence, theft and abuse of a corpse. He was immediately ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    At the sentencing hearing, The Mountain Mail points out, Gonzales apologized to Rust's family but insisted, "God knows I didn’t mean to hurt him."

    As for Rust's sister Annie Crandall, she was gratified by the sentence, but the grief she feels over what happened lives on. In her words, "My parents both died not knowing what happened to their son."

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