Glenwood Springs cops arrest man in Texas case
A Front Range man accused of killing his wife and infant in Texas this month was arrested in the case Thursday about five minutes before he was about to be released from custody in Glenwood Springs for charges in an unrelated traffic stop.
Craig Vandewege, 35, had been jailed in the Western Slope town for about 16 hours on suspicion of speeding and driving without insurance when family members came to pay his $1,100 bail, Glenwood Springs police Chief Terry Wilson said.
With minutes left before Vandewege was to be freed, a $1 million bail warrant for capital murder with multiple victims out of Fort Worth, Texas, was issued and Vandewege instead remained in custody.
“He was probably about five minutes away from walking out the door,” Wilson recounted Friday.
Vandewege is suspected in the Dec. 15 deaths of his 36-year-old wife, Shanna, and their son, Diederick. Fort Worth police say the pair were found in the master bedroom of a house and both had knife wounds to their necks. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
When police officers arrived that day, Vandewege was outside of the home crouched on a front walkway with his face in his hands, according to investigators.
Glenwood Springs police encountered Vandewege through a bizarre series of events on Wednesday night that began after he allegedly told someone at a 7-Eleven store in town that he had to “call a few people to talk about a murder” and that he was running from authorities, according to police reports.
The person at the 7-Eleven called Glenwood Springs police to warn them about the suspicious man, the reports say, at which point several officers were dispatched to investigate.
Vandewege was pulled over by one of the responding officers on suspicion of speeding on Glenwood Springs’ Grand Avenue. The reports say Vandewege told police he didn’t realize he was speeding and that “it’s been a long week. My wife and kid were murdered in Texas.”
Police say they arrested Vandewege for driving without insurance, finding two loaded pistols on his person — one in his waistband and the other in an ankle holster — as well as an AR-15 rifle and a case of 1,000 rounds for the gun in his vehicle. He told officers he had a concealed carry permit out of Weld County.
According to the report, Vandewege told the officers he was planning to go shooting to blow off some steam.
“Vandewege’s calm demeanor was very suspicious for someone whose family was recently murdered,” an officer wrote in one of the reports.
Glenwood Springs police eventually were able to get in touch with Texas investigators who told them Vandewege had not been ruled out as a suspect in his wife and son’s killings. “Obviously, once we had talked to the Texas authorities and understood what was going on there, we didn’t really want him popping out of jail,” Lewis said.
According to The Associated Press, authorities have not disclosed how they allegedly tied Vandewege to the deaths.
Glenwood Springs police say they don’t know why Vandewege came to their town.
An obituary for Shanna and Diederick Vandewege says a memorial service for the two is set for next week in the southeastern Colorado town of Walsh.
is accused of killing his wife, son in Fort Worth.