On Sept. 14, Tim Watkins left for a bike ride through the wooded trails near his Monument, Colo., home. More than a month later, police have no answers as to why he was shot and killed that day.
Candlelight vigils, outpourings of sympathy on social media, and a public “Celebration of Life” have commemorated the memory of Watkins in the wake of his shocking death. Residents called him a “beloved member” of their cycling community.
Watkins, 60, was shot and left partially buried on a mixed-use trail in the Mount Herman area. Police called it a homicide, and investigations began in earnest.
But despite apprehending a man alleged to have threatened mountain bikers with a hatchet in the same area, police have no arrests in connection with Watkins’ murder. One month following his death, here’s what we know.
Watkins Murder and Daniel Nations
A hiker discovered Watkins’ body three days after he left for a bike ride on Sept. 14. Police declared Watkins was “shot multiple times” and began investigating.
Among the tips police received were reports of a man threatening trail users with a hatchet. The car description linked to those incidents led police to 31-year-old Daniel Nations. Police stopped him for expired Indiana license plates and a missing taillight.
Inside Nations’ vehicle, police found a hatchet and a .22-caliber rifle—the same caliber used to kill Watkins, according to police. Records show Nations also has a criminal background, including felony convictions for domestic battery in front of a child and a sexual offense—both in Morgan County, Indiana.
Because of his felony history, Nations cannot legally own a firearm. Police in Teller county, Colo., where he was apprehended, charged him with felony possession of a firearm.
And since the threats against hikers and bikers took place in El Paso County, police there charged him with felony menacing, reckless endangerment, assault, and trespassing.
But they have not connected Nations with Watkins’ murder. And the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has named no suspects.
Nations Linked to Indiana Murders
In addition to his already lengthy rap sheet, Nations has ties to two unsolved murders in Delphi, Ind. RTV6 in Indiana reported investigators in the February murders of Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, flew to El Paso County to question Nations.
Indiana’s Journal and Courier reported that though they left without charging him, Nations remains a person of interest in the case.
KOAA news in Colorado reported Nations also has convictions for indecent exposure and “habitual drunk driving” in South Carolina. The report also notes that Nations was “charged multiple times with domestic violence.”
Nations had his first appearance in El Paso County Court this week and appears for a preliminary hearing in Teller County Court on Nov. 6.
Anyone with information about the unsolved murder of Tim Watkins should contact the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center (719-390-5555) or tip line (719-520-6666).
Anyone with information on the Delphi murders of Liberty German and Abigail Williams should call the Indiana State Police tip line at (844) 459-5786 or 1-800-225-5324 (800-Call FBI). Or, email information to Abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com.