Missing woman found dead
Victim's husband in custody for first-degree murder
Craig — The Craig Police Department conducted a search warrant Saturday 33 miles north of Craig with a goal of recovering the body of a woman who was last seen June 3.
Officers found what they were looking for.
The body of Cynthia Hankins/Runnels, a 36-year-old Craig woman, was discovered on a gold claim where her husband, Terry Hankins, lives and operates.
Terry Hankins, 70, was arrested a day before the search Friday afternoon on suspicion of first-degree murder, abusing a corpse, tampering with evidence, forgery, theft and possession of a controlled substance.
Police obtained a search warrant Friday night for Terry Hankins’ property.
“The investigation indicates that the original crimes related to the victim occurred in the city of Craig,” the Police Department reported in a press release Sunday morning.
The Police Department began investigating the Cynthia Hankins disappearance after her family reported her missing June 7. Investigators later declared her husband a “person of interest” in the case and executed three search warrants – at the Hankins’ home and at Terry Hankins’ mining claims.
One of those claims, located at 63456 N. Highway 13, or about three miles south of the Wyoming border, was searched a second time Saturday. The Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Land Management and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation participated in the search.
“Utilizing heavy equipment and hand tools, it took investigators over six hours to exhume the burial site,” the Police Department reported.
Police said the missing woman’s body was found in a grave about 5 feet deep and covered with another pile of dirt about 12 feet wide and 6 feet high.
Terry Hankins also is a suspect in other criminal activity, police said, namely a theft and forgery case.
“Detectives assigned to this case were also investigating other criminal activity that Mr. Hankins was alleged to be involved in,” according to the press release. “During the investigation of the other crimes, information was developed that directly related to his involvement in the disappearance of his wife, which resulted in another search warrant being issued.”
The theft and forgery charges stem from Terry Hankins allegedly receiving a check by mistake and later signing and depositing the check into his bank account.
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