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Murder suspect fleeing Colorado found dead near Laramie

A "Road Closed" sign riddled with bullet holes greets visitors.
David Dudley
Wyoming Public Media
The entrance to Forest Service Road 701, closed the day after Mr. Mladenik died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a nearby rock formation.

This story is part of our new Quick Hits series. This series will bring you breaking news and short updates from throughout the state.

A murder suspect from Weld County, Colo., was found dead near Laramie on Tuesday afternoon, according to a press release from the Albany County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said the suspect, Joseph Mladenik, was wanted in connection with a woman who was shot dead earlier that day in Milliken, Colo, an hour south of Cheyenne.

Deputies said Mladenik, who was considered armed and dangerous, traveled through Laramie County. He allegedly fled law enforcement before hiding in a rock formation off Happy Jack Road, according to the release.

A public safety alert was announced Tuesday around 1:16 p.m., when law enforcement officers asked the public to stay out of the area near North Crow Creek Reservoir.

A Special Response Team deployed drones in the area where Mladenik's car was allegedly found near Forest Service Road 701. Deputies said that when they found Mladenik, he had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The safety alert was cleared around 5 p.m. after deputies confirmed that there was no danger to the public.

The multi-agency response included the Laramie Police Department, Laramie Fire/ EMS, Wyoming Highway Patrol, Laramie County Sheriff's Office, Wyoming State Parks, Albany County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Wyoming Game and Fish, Albany County Emergency Management, Milliken Police Department, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations.

The Milliken Police Department has not released the female victim's identity. The investigation is ongoing.

David Dudley is an award-winning journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor, High Country News, WyoFile, and the Wyoming Truth, among many others. David was a Guggenheim Crime in America Fellow at John Jay College from 2020-2023. During the past 10 years, David has covered city and state government, business, economics and public safety beats for various publications. He lives in Cheyenne with his family.
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