MANAGUA, Nicaragua — A Nicaraguan man has been sentenced to 39 years in prison for killing a Wyoming woman who was on a missionary trip in that Central American country.
Judge Henriette Casco in Managua sentenced Fernando Aburto Reyes on Saturday in the April death of Karen Colclough, 37, of Jackson. Under Nicaraguan law, Reyes, 35, can serve a maximum 30 years in prison.
Colclough and members of her church were in Nicaragua to help families in villages in the central province of Matagalpa. She originally was from Lynnfield, Massachusetts.
Colclough disappeared April 11 after she left her hotel on Montelimar beach, about 30 miles southwest of Managua, to take photos. Her body was found April 14 in a mountainous area near the hotel.
An autopsy found she had been beaten and strangled.
Reyes was convicted of robbing, raping and killing Colclough. Under Nicaraguan law, he can remain imprisoned for a maximum of up to 30 years.
Reyes, who took care of several beach homes in the area, was arrested shortly after Colclough's body was found. He told police he came across Colclough as she was taking pictures and wanted to steal her camera. He had several scratches on his arms, police said.
Colclough travelled to Nicaragua with the Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole, the Jackson Hole News&Guide reported.
The group was working with Agros International, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization that helps farmers in poor regions of Central America and Mexico by buying land and building housing and sanitation services.
Colclough had lived in Jackson the last 10 years. She also worked as a guide in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, according to her father, Douglas Colclough.