News Archive

October 30, 2022

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Public Information Unit, 303-441-1500

Arrests made in homicide in northern Boulder County

Boulder County, Colo. - On Sunday, October 30, 2022 at approximately 12:15 a.m., a deputy with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle that he suspected of DUI in unincorporated Larimer County, Colorado. The vehicle eluded the deputy in the Berthoud area and was last seen southbound on Highway 287, near Highway 56, when the LCSO deputy stopped pursuing.

At approximately 12:30 a.m., the Boulder County Communications Center received a report of a suspicious vehicle that was disabled in the roadway in the area of Highway 287 at Yellowstone Road in unincorporated Boulder County. It was also reported that people were seen running away from the vehicle. At approximately 12:40 a.m., the Boulder County Communications Center received a call from a hospital in the City of Longmont notifying them that they were treating a patient with an apparent gunshot wound. The victim, a 21-year-old female resident of the Denver area, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Deputies and investigators with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) and Larimer County Sheriff’s Office responded to investigate. Additionally, personnel with both Boulder County SWAT and Larimer County SWAT responded to assist with searching the area of Highway 287 and Yellowstone Road for the suspects from the vehicle that had been left abandoned in the roadway. Deputies were able to quickly locate four suspects in a camper trailer parked on a residential property in the immediate area and took two males and two females into custody without incident. They were transported to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office to be interviewed by investigators.

Investigators determined through interviews, and the on-scene investigation, that the victim does not appear to be connected to the suspects. It is believed that the victim, who was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by her mother, happened across the suspect’s vehicle as it came to a stop near the intersection of Highway 287 and Yellowstone Road. The suspects got out of their disabled vehicle and one of the suspects shot at the victim’s vehicle with a handgun, striking the victim. It is believed that the primary suspect had shot at the victims’ vehicle in an attempt to carjack them.

Ultimately, three of the individuals were arrested and transported to jail:

  • Martin Cerda, a 23-year-old resident of the Greeley area, was arrested and charged with:
    • Murder in the 2nd degree, a class 2 felony
    • Attempted aggravated robbery, a class 4 felony
    • Vehicular eluding, a class 5 felony
    • Possession of a weapon by a previous offender, a class 5 felony
  • Adriana Vargas, a 24-year-old resident of the Greeley area, was arrested and charged with:
    • Murder in the 2nd degree, a class 2 felony
    • Possession of a weapon by a previous offender, a class 5 felony
    • Several outstanding arrest warrants not associated to this investigation
  • Marissa Ruiz, a 24-year-old resident of the Greeley area, was arrested for several outstanding warrants out of Weld County, Colorado, that are not associated to this investigation

As in every criminal case, these charges are merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty. At this time, booking photos of the arrestees will not be made available since the investigation is ongoing.

The victim’s identity is being withheld at this time pending notification of next of kin. The Boulder County Coroner’s Office will release her information when it is appropriate. Investigators do not have reason to believe there is any ongoing threat to the community related to this incident.

The following agencies assisted with this investigation: the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, Longmont Department of Public Safety, the Boulder District Attorney’s Office, Boulder Emergency Squad, Colorado Department of Transportation, and American Medical Response ambulance. The associated BCSO case number for this investigation is: 22-05491.

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/s/ Detective Sergeant Clay Leak