Man arrested in murder of Wyoming woman in Nicaragua

2014-04-16T09:10:00Z 2014-07-14T15:24:05Z Man arrested in murder of Wyoming woman in NicaraguaThe Associated Press The Associated Press
April 16, 2014 9:10 am  • 

JACKSON, Wyo. — A Wyoming woman found dead on a church service trip to Nicaragua was an EMT and skiing instructor who had always been committed to helping other people, her father said.

The body of 37-year-old Karen Colclough of Wilson was found Monday in the town of Montelimar, according to Agros International, the Seattle-based non-profit she and a group from the Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole were working with.

Douglas Colclough of Lynnfield, Mass., said that his daughter "always was very helpful and very religious." He fears someone may have taken advantage of her nature and caused her death.

A man who confessed to robbing and killing Colclough has been arrested, authorities said Wednesday.

National Police official Glenda Zavala said Fernando Aburto Reyes told investigators he strangled 37-year-old Karen Colclough and stole her camera.

"The preliminary coroner's report states that the cause of death was asphyxia and that Karen also received several blows from Fernando Aburto Reyes," Zavala said.

Aburto Reyes, 35, told police he came across Colclough as she was taking pictures near the hotel where she was staying at Montelimar beach, in the northern province of Matagalpa, Zavala said.

Aburto Reyes, who works taking care of several beach homes in the area, had several scratches on his arms, the spokeswoman said.

Colclough's body was found Monday in a mountainous area near the hotel.

She was in Nicaragua with her church group, according to Agros International, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that the church group was working with to help families in villages in the Matagalpa region.

Paul Moulton, chairman of Agros International's board of directors, said Colclough disappeared Friday after preparing to go for a run on the beach.

Agros International helps farmers in poor regions of Central America and Mexico by buying land and building housing and sanitation services.

Colclough is originally from Lynnfield, Massachusetts, but had lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the last 10 years. She also worked as a guide in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, said her father, Douglas Colclough.

This story includes reports from an Associated Press story in Nicaragua.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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