Brighton murder suspect arrested in Trinidad

IGNACIO, Colo. — A man from La Plata County is being held on suspicion of second-degree murder in connection with the homicide of a 28-year-old Indigenous woman from Ignacio.

The body of Raeanna “Nikki” Burch-Woodhull was found around Colorado State Highway 550 and County Road 310, which is south of Durango, on Saturday. The La Plata County Coroner made a preliminary identification and her family was notified, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Luis Raul Valenzuela, 34, of Ignacio, was identified as the suspect and was taken into custody that same day. He was brought to the La Plata County Jail.

Investigators said they believe Burch-Woodhull knew Valenzuela.

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | December 5, 8am

No other details were available this early in the investigation.

The CBI is working alongside the Ignacio Police Department, the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, La Plata County Coroner’s Office, and the newly formed Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Office of the Department of Public Safety.

READ MORE: Colorado hires first director for new Office of Liaison for Missing or Murdered Indigenous Relatives

CBI issued a Missing Endangered Alert for Burch-Woodhull.

The new Missing Indigenous Person Alert will take effect at the end of December.

Valenzuela has a first appearance set for Monday, according to CBI.

The La Plata County Coroner will conduct Burch-Woodhull’s autopsy.

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