Murder suspect found in Denver

Former Craig man suspected of killing his wife

Amy Hamilton

Craig police officers are breathing a sigh of relief after receiving news that a former Craig man who was being sought in connection with his wife’s shooting death in early June has been captured in Denver.

Duane E. Manzanares, 38, and his teenage daughter were arrested without incident by Denver police officers at about 10 p.m. Wednesday when the two were walking away from a Denver apartment where they had been staying.

The Pueblo man is suspected of shooting his estranged wife, Erica Manzanares, 31, and her male companion of one week, David Bryant. The 19-year-old Denver man was badly wounded after being shot in the face.

The Manzanareses lived in Craig for at least a few years and moved to Pueblo in January. Pueblo police had received tips that the suspect could be hiding anywhere from Pueblo to Denver to New York City. Pueblo police Sgt. Elias Manzanares, who is not related to Duane, has said it was unlikely that the suspect had fled to the Craig area, but that possibility wasn’t ruled out. Police had considered the suspect armed and dangerous, and authorities said if he wasn’t caught soon, he could kill again, The Pueblo Chieftain reported.

Craig Police Sgt. Bill Leonard said he was relieved to notify Craig officers today of the suspect’s capture.

“There was information that he may have been headed here,” Leonard said. “We’re always on the lookout anytime something like that happens with someone who has resided here.”

Erica Manzanares worked as a waitress at the former Craig restaurant Pat’s Roosterante for her aunt, who owned the diner. Family members of Erica Manzanares weren’t available by phone Friday.

Erica Manzanares threw her husband out of the house a few weeks before the shooting — a move that ended nine years of abuse, according to a June 2 story in The Chieftain.

According to the article, relatives said the couple had been married for five years during which time her husband was described as “abusive,” “controlling” and had sometimes pointed a gun at her or at himself.

During their marriage, Duane Manzanares prohibited Erica from attending family functions.

Director of Advocates-Crisis Support Services Pat Tessmer reiterated the importance of taking reports of domestic violence seriously.

“There’s always the potential for lethal activity in a domestic violence case,” she said. “It’s important not to minimize the violence.”

Amy Hamilton can be reached at 824-7031.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.