Lakewood man who was flight risk to Craig found dead



Courtesy Photo

Melvin Nelson

A man wanted on the Front Range for attempted murder and whom the Craig Police Department was keeping an eye out for was found dead in a motel room Tuesday, authorities reported.

Melvin “Catfish” Nelson, 60, had at least one relative in Craig and had lived in the city before, police said. He was wanted by the Lakewood Police Department for allegedly robbing and shooting a woman.

Multiple media outlets reported Wednesday that police found Nelson’s body in a motel room along U.S. Interstate 25. He died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the outlets reported.

Lakewood authorities claim Nelson shot 72-year-old Charlene Clay multiple times in the face Saturday afternoon as the result of a property dispute.

Nelson was also accused of robbing Clay’s home and stealing a gold 2000 Ford Explorer. Craig police said Tuesday they believed Nelson was planning to come to the area.

“He has lived in Craig before, and he has family here,” Sgt. John Forgay said.

Police did not release the relative’s name for protective purposes.

“She hasn’t had any contact with him as far as we know,” Forgay said.

Forgay said police had no leads about Nelson’s current location and had not seen any trace of him within the city. That included checking at local motels and hotels, Police Chief Walt Vanatta said.

“At this point, all the officers are certainly aware and on the lookout,” Forgay said Tuesday.

Forgay said police believed Nelson to be armed and dangerous. He also had a record of drug and robbery charges, as well as a homicide charge.

“We’re not certain what kind of behavior we’re looking at with him,” Forgay said.

Click here to have the print version of the Craig Daily Press delivered to your home.


kp81625 5 years, 11 months ago

According to, this man was found dead either late last night or early this morning by apparent suicide in the Denver area.


kp81625 5 years, 11 months ago

My apologies to everyone who is seeing my comment from early this morning. It looks like I read the story of this persons death and posted like an idiot...I did not. This story had not been updated when I posted my original comment.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.