Officers say DNA analysis, physical evidence at scene links Gregory Scott Gavin to the brutal beating death of Karl Fred Kohler
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Summit County Sheriff’s Office Thursday arrested Gregory Scott Gavin as a suspect in the murder of Karl Fred Kohler.
Sheriffs Office spokesperson Tracy LeClair said Gavin was arrested near Keystone about four hours after a warrant was issued.
Gavin was also a transient resident of the area who lived in the forest by choice, according to LeClair, who added that the two camps were not in close proximity. It’s not know whether Kohler and Gavin had any previous contact or conflicts, she said.
Kohler, 45, was beaten to death while camped on National Forest Service land near the Burro Trailhead in Breckenridge.
His body was found May 19, triggering a three-week investigation that resulted in this week’s arrest.
Gavin, 50, is currently being held in the Summit County Detention Facility on charges of second degree murder. His bond has been set at $250,000.
“Our detectives did a phenomenal job,” said Undersheriff Derek Woodman. “Over the past three weeks they have devoted themselves entirely to this investigation. Based on physical evidence and confirmation from DNA lab analysis, we feel confident we have put together a solid case.”
During the investigation, the Sheriff’s Office conducted dozens of interviews and processed hundreds of pieces of evidence; investigators are still waiting on some test results as well as the final autopsy report. Woodman confirmed that Gavin had been the primary suspect from the onset of the investigation.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Scott Turner emphasized that the charge of second degree murder is merely an allegation and Gavin is innocent until proven guilty. He also added, “We will do whatever we can to ensure justice for the victim.”
The Summit County Coroner confirmed the manner of death to be homicide due to blunt force trauma. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Breckenridge Police Department, Summit County Rescue Group and the Summit County Coroner’s office.