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  • Kelsey Shannon's sister Angela Horne, right, escorted by a victim's...

    David Jennings

    Kelsey Shannon's sister Angela Horne, right, escorted by a victim's advocate, left, walks out of the courtroom during a morning break in Alex Pacheco's preliminary hearing at the Broomfield Combined Courts on Wednesday. Photo by David Jennings

  • Alexander "Alex" Paul Pacheco

    Alexander "Alex" Paul Pacheco

  • Kelsey Shannon

    Kelsey Shannon

  • Michelle Pacheco, left, and Eugene Chavez, walk to the courthouse...

    David Jennings

    Michelle Pacheco, left, and Eugene Chavez, walk to the courthouse for Alex Pacheco's preliminary hearing of Kelsey Shannon at the Broomfield Combined Courts on Wednesday. Staff photo/David Jennings




When police searched Alexander Pacheco’s home computer after finding his 13-year-old girlfriend’s body in a Broomfield ditch, they discovered a file titled “Kelsey.doc.”

“I love the thought of necrophilia,” Pacheco wrote, according to a Broomfield police detective’s testimony Wednesday. “A dead body never judge(d) him, play(ed) games with him or hurt his feelings.”

Publicly presenting the evidence against Pacheco for the first time since he was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kelsey Shannon, prosecutors said he strangled and stabbed the girl, had sex with her corpse and bragged about it to friends.

After eight hours of testimony during a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Broomfield District Court, a judge agreed to reconvene May 26 before ruling whether evidence exists for the case to proceed. Pacheco, 18, of Broomfield, also faces charges of child abuse resulting in death and abuse of a corpse.

Wearing a buzzed haircut and an orange jumpsuit, he showed little emotion during Wednesday’s gruesome testimony.

Although Pacheco has never confessed to police to killing his girlfriend, who went missing three months before her remains were discovered Jan. 21, detective Chris Kearns said he told friends “I killed her” and sought help to destroy the body. Pacheco was arrested Jan. 24.

Defense attorney Megan Ring questioned the credibility of the teenagers who shared confession stories with police, pointing out that the group regularly does drugs and that one of the friends met Pacheco just a few weeks before Kelsey disappeared.

The Adams County Coroner’s Office hasn’t ruled on a cause of death.

“No cause of death has been determined, and (Pacheco) has made no confession or acknowledgment that he had anything to do with Kelsey Shannon,” Ring said.

‘This was a mess-up’

Police arrested Pacheco the day after they interviewed one of his friends, who said Pacheco had a lock of Kelsey’s hair, admitted to killing her and said “she went cold in 30 seconds,” Detective Kearns testified Wednesday.

The friend took that to mean that Pacheco had sex with the body because, Kearns said, the group of friends had used that term before.

“Amongst that circle of friends, there had been an ongoing joke around having sex with dead bodies that involved a comment like that,” Kearns said.

Pacheco took that friend to an area near a watery ditch by the intersection of 136th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard, where Kelsey’s body was dumped, to retrieve a used condom and a sock, Kearns testified.

Another friend who told police Pacheco confessed to the killing said Pacheco and Kelsey were on a hill in Broomfield, not far from her home in the Broadlands, when Pacheco killed her, Broomfield detective Dean Bennett testified.

“They had just gotten done smoking a cigarette when he stabbed her,” Bennett said.

Pacheco’s attorney said the teenagers’ accounts that Pacheco choked and stabbed Kelsey have not been corroborated by a coroner’s report, and some of the teens’ stories have proven to be rumors.

“They said one way Alex Pacheco may have caused the death was by use of a sledge hammer,” Ring said. “But the autopsy confirmed no fractures to her body.”

When Pacheco was arrested, Ring said, the only thing he said was “this was a mess-up” and there are “other suspects.”

‘Almost desperate’

At least two of Pacheco’s friends told police that Pacheco asked them to help dispose of the body by driving it to an irrigation center and pulling it into a tunnel with a sled. Bennett said one teenage acquaintance, who was approached by Pacheco and his friends, recalled that Pacheco seemed “almost desperate” to find a sled to move a body.

Pacheco and his friends told the acquaintance they planned to put the body in a barrel mixed with Coca-Cola and bleach to dissolve it, Bennett said.

“All that would be left is teeth,” the teenager told Bennett. “Then they were going to smash them with a hammer and scatter them all over Colorado.”

Pacheco thought he would get away with the killing because Kelsey wrote a runaway letter to her parents, a friend told Bennett. In the days following Kelsey’s disappearance, police said they spoke with her mother about her teenager’s struggles, and she said Kelsey’s runaway note didn’t focus on Pacheco but rather her desire to find her birth mother.

Still, according to police, Kelsey was upset after her parents told her not to hang out with Pacheco, in part because they had discovered he was sleeping in their basement.

Friends also told investigators that Pacheco talked about his worries that Kelsey was cheating on him and made comments about “what he should do with her,” Bennett said. Pacheco had asked friends “if he should just get rid of her for good,” Bennett said.

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Archived comments


5/14/2009 9:56:26 PM

Get the rope…..


5/13/2009 3:16:23 PM

“A Broomfield detective told the court that one of Pacheco’s friends told them after they found Kelsey’s body that Pacheco had admitted to killing her.”

That, my friends, is what’s known as hearsay. The defense must be totally incompetent not to have objected.


5/13/2009 11:04:57 AM

What kind of parents would let their 13-year-old daughter date an 18-year-old guy at all, let alone a thug like this?

They should be considered accessories to the crime, morally if not legally.


5/13/2009 11:07:56 AM

so he used a condom when he had sex with her dead body?

what a thoughtful and responsible young man.

5/13/2009 11:08:44 AM

Wow.This is just unimaginable…just plain sickening.If it’s true, it’s beyond disgusting that this kid did these things to that poor girl.Come what may, let there be justice for Kelsey Shannon.

Young girls, please be careful about hanging out with older guys.There’s a big possibility they’re up to no good.Maybe not to the degree you could wind up dead, but speaking from personal experience, they’re usually trouble.

Your life is precious.Please don’t waste it.

5/13/2009 11:26:22 AM

If someone reproduces, it is the moral responsibility of those with the knowledge to inform the offspring who the parent is. Under ANY circumstances, including sperm banks, rape and incest. This case is the reason why.


5/13/2009 11:28:00 AM

So if this is true…

Where are all those people whining about how he ‘would never do such a thing like this, he was a good guy’ blah blah blah. Still want to defend him? Just saying, if this is true.


5/13/2009 11:59:57 AM

grandjacques, you wouldn’t make a very good lawyer– hearsay is admissible at a preliminary hearing.


5/13/2009 12:33:05 PM

So much for an untainted jury pool.


5/13/2009 12:41:02 PM

lynn, while I understand your position of allowing an adopted child to have access to birth-parent information, I don’t see how that relates to the accused and the murder of Kelsey in this situation. How would having that information have helped the girl?


5/13/2009 12:41:06 PM

WesternSky: Because Israel=Bad, and Palestine=Good.

/I couldn’t make sense of it, either.

5/13/2009 1:05:44 PM

Western Sky

It is only the most significant finding in the article. You must have missed it? Last paragraph of the article. Before the court update.

“Before Kelsey disappeared, she wrote a note threatening to run away, according to Kearns. Kelsey didn’t focus on Pacheco in the note, he said, but rather said she wanted to find her birth mother.”


5/13/2009 1:35:57 PM

I think it’s because when Kelsey was talking about running away, she said it was to search for her birth-mother.It’s in the article.

5/13/2009 1:36:40 PM


Again, it is there in print.


5/13/2009 1:37:17 PM


Well, someone got it. Maybe it should have been placed at the beginning or the body of the piece.

I don’t know that much about the technical aspects of journalism.


5/13/2009 1:39:42 PM

lynn – so is it your belief that if kelsey knew the identity of her bio mother, her murder would not have happened?i am not connecting the dots here….


5/13/2009 1:53:41 PM

Apparently it would have helped.


5/13/2009 2:05:51 PM

She did write the note. No one can ask her about it now.

Just about how she couldn’t ask about her birth parents. But there may have been reasons. I don’t know them.


5/13/2009 2:09:08 PM

interesting perspective and you certainly have to explore why this 13yo girl chose to involve herself with the defendant – on many levels.

with that said – my impression was that she lied in her note – wanting her parents to think one thing while she was actually looking to be with the defendant.(he had been staying in her parents home – without their knowledge and was caught)we may never know.


5/13/2009 2:15:59 PM

U.S. “Intelligence” just killed 95 children in Afghanistan. I bet Pacheco wished he’d joined the armed forces instead.


5/13/2009 4:24:54 PM

I can’t believe a Mexican committed this depraved act, what a shock.


5/13/2009 4:26:30 PM

If his friend’s statements are really true, that kid’s gonna burn in hell…after he’s killed in prison, if he makes it that far.


5/13/2009 5:58:20 PM

Aren’t there certain things that just should not be put in a newspaper?

5/13/2009 8:34:28 PM

Let’s hope this monster never ever gets out of jail to do the same thing to another girl. Good thing the Death penatly was not taken away. If anyone should get it this devil’s child should.


5/13/2009 9:32:06 PM

Hey, let he who hasn’t wanted to hit a dead 13 year old cast the first stone.


5/13/2009 10:51:36 PM

If that face showed up at your doorstep to date your daughter, what would you do?


5/13/2009 11:14:07 PM

boardman – couldn’t agree more.


5/14/2009 4:47:19 AM

This makes me sick, and very sad for Kelsey and her family. I also don’t understand why, if someone heard him bragging about his disgusting and evil deeds, they did not report this to the police. I am usually surprised when someone turns out to be such a waste of life as Pacheco is, but I’m not feeling the love for the thugs who knew about this and didn’t tell, either. In my opinion, any decent human being would not keep their good buddy’s necrophilia a secret.


5/14/2009 5:55:35 AM

“prosecutors said he strangled and stabbed the girl, had sex with her corpse and bragged about it to friends.”

Yeah, the death penalty would be unfair.This guy deserves a chance to live out the rest of his life, get some counseling, and then maybe be able to return to society, where, because of his rehab, he probably won’t have sex with the next person after killing them.


5/14/2009 6:32:23 AM

this is more than I want to know. Pathetic and heartbreaking

5/14/2009 8:10:48 AM

It’s hard to see what good could ever come out of this tragedy, but I hope parents will now pay more attention to what their teens and even pre-teens are doing/who they are associating with and put a halt to rampant pre-teen cell-phone use which I feel is a big part of how this whole thing came down.It just seems so strange that any teen who heard rumors about Kelsey’s murder in school didn’t speak up to adults about it unless it was fear of reprisal from the killer(s).


5/14/2009 8:11:24 AM

Did all the Boulder cops move to Broomfield?

5/14/2009 8:48:48 AM

grandjacques said: “That, my friends, is what’s known as hearsay. The defense must be totally incompetent not to have objected.”

You are incorrect grandjacques. An statement made against your own self interest, i.e., a confession, is an exception to the hearsay rule. The prosecution need only show corroboration to enter it into evidence at trial. Also, the defense can only log objections either in the form of a motion prior to trial, or during trial (i.e., a standing objection).


5/14/2009 8:58:08 AM

…did this guy ever date Jon Benet?


5/14/2009 9:14:25 AM

Statements by the defendant are not hearsay.


5/14/2009 9:38:14 AM

“Posted by ExCo on May 13, 2009 at 4:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

U.S. “Intelligence” just killed 95 children in Afghanistan. I bet Pacheco wished he’d joined the armed forces instead.”

Hell yes! Could have been stationed with you mom!

Great idea…

Can your mom get me pop-up’s?


5/14/2009 10:15:20 AM

I hope Pacheco’s “friends” have lawyers.I don’t know what kind of kids these 18yo are but they too need some help.What is wrong with these people?How long did it take for them to come forward?I would hope if my kid gets this deep into felony territory, he would confide in me.I would have no problem sending this POS away for the rest of his life.And doing the best I can to shield my kid from being dragged down with him.


5/14/2009 10:35:26 AM

WOW- Pacheco is a disgrace to humanity. He’s obviously insane, I sincerely hope his mental problems will not aid in getting him a lesser sentence. Fry the necrophiliac scum !


5/14/2009 10:45:41 AM

jminer42: What you said is true, but the statement was not made by the defendant, but by his friends. Re-read the article.


5/14/2009 12:10:19 PM

Exco:duh…if the Taliban didn’t hide behind the skirts of women and children perhaps those children would be alive today…think!


5/14/2009 1:10:18 PM

Not one comment deleted?What’s the deal people?


5/14/2009 2:23:25 PM

“Pacheco and his friends told the acquaintance they planned to put the body in a barrel mixed with Coca-Cola and bleach to dissolve it, Bennett said.”

Hmmm. . .Looks like word is out about the power of Coke to dissolve anything.I know people who soak their golf balls in Coke to sear the crud off of them.Just think what it does to your teeth!


5/14/2009 3:25:00 PM

JT/JMiner:It’s not the world’s clearest article on what Pacheco said to whom, but I think the evidence ultimately comes in at trial.Pacheco’s statements to friends are statements of a party and, thus, not hearsay in the first place (CRE 801(d)(2) (admissions of party not hearsay)). The friends’ statements to the detectives probably are hearsay, but any hearsay problem can be fixed by the friends testifying directly (as opposed to through cops) about the nonhearsay statements Pacheco made to them.


5/14/2009 3:42:51 PM

That is just sick. I am normally not a fan of the death penalty, but if this sicko is found guilty, let him fry!


5/14/2009 4:04:14 PM

Parents, know who your children are associating with, know their family, know their background, know who their friends are, what they do, how they do in school, etc.Make it clear to your kids that this is what you will do with every one of their friends.Start early, from the very beginning of their social interactions.

Your kid’s friends have to also be your friends, especially your daughter’s boyfriends. Be close enough to your kids to know whether they are adhearing to this rule.Enforce the rule. Check on them closely enough so that there is no doubt. If you start early, let them know it’s the way it’s going to be, then it’s not hard.Kids want the security that comes with firm, close, consistent parental relationship. Once they reach the teens, if you have followed this advice from early on, they will most likely start making good decisions about whom they associate with on their own.

Don’t listen to the flakes who tell you different. Don’t listen to the “what can you do?” culture of rationalization and enabling. Be a parent. Parents protect their children.

5/14/2009 4:43:19 PM

Dear Lyn

When a child is adopted through a reputable agency, the birth parents’ names are not given until the child is 18. It is common for adopted children to wonder about the circumstances surrounding their adoption – that does not mean that this girl would not have been killed if she had know who her birth parents were. This is one of the more ignorant statements posted. Second in ignorance only to those who blame her parents. Her parents loved her, they watched out for her. Those of you who live in glass houses have no right to blame them. Have you ever let your middle schooler walk down the street alone to a friend’s house? Have you ever let them walk to school. Have you ever let them attend a movie past 5 pm? If so, you did something “as bad” as the Shannon parents. KIds make poor choices on their own – they do not deserve to die for it. There is only one person to blame for this death – Alex Pacheco. He is a manipulative, pedophile and statutory rapist. Let’s not forget that. Her parents are in enough pain.


5/15/2009 2:00:44 AM

I assume luvthebuffs is responding to me and has interpreted my comments as blaming Kelsey’s parents. Sorry if this is not the case and ignore the rest of this response.

If, after learning about a rape, you were moved to advise women on how to avoid unsafe situations and defend themselves in an attack, would you be blaming the victim for not being well enough prepared? Would you be forgetting that the perpetrator was responsible?

All I am doing is encouraging and reminding parents how to keep their kids out of undesireable and dangerous situations and relationships.

“Have you ever let your middle schooler walk down the street alone to a friend’s house?”

Yes, when I know the friend, have met the friend’s parents, know who the friend’s parents let hang out at their house, what the parent’s rules are, checked up afterwards by asking a bunch of questions that she went where she said she was going, etc.

No one is suggesting that what you do as a parent either causes this kind of thing to happen or can guarantee that it won’t.

I am encouraging parents to not be afraid to be closely in control of your child’s life. These days, there is too much advice in the opposite direction or it is too watered down.

Absolutely nowhere in my suggestion or in my attitude is any scintilla of forgetting the guilt of the perpretrator.Again, encouraging wonmen to avoid and resist sezual assault does not mean you are distracting from the responsibility of rapists – this is a false dichotomy.Yes, criminals are responsible for crimes, and yes, we all should be prepared and cautious and protect ourselves.

5/15/2009 10:51:12 AM

Lynn, I saw the reference in the article, of course. Your condescension only adds fuel to what I consider an ignorant observation.

The girl was apparently having an argument with her mother over seeing that Pacheco kid. It is common for a child to lash out at a parent during a family fight, in Kelsey’s case, claiming to want to see or be with her blood parent… just to say something hurtful or spiteful, to try to have control of the situation in the heat of the moment. Lynn, are you a parent?

For Kelsey to have known her birth mother would not have made a difference. I’m pretty sure after reading this disgusting article, that Alex Pacheco only cared about one thing and it wasn’t that he cared if Kelsey knew her blood mother. To turn your argument back on you, even if her birth mother lived down the block, what would stop her from threatening another reason to run away? It isn’t as uncommon as you apparently think. I ask you again Lynn, do you have any children?

I do agree with you that when kids reach a level of maturity, they can be ready to meet a birth parent of both parties desire and agree to it.


5/15/2009 7:59:31 PM