Colorado man charged with killing future mother-in-law
(TheDenverChannel.com) ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – A 32-year-old Englewood man has been arrested and accused of strangling his future mother-in-law, dismembering her body and dumping some of the remains in rural Clear Creek County, according to court records.
John Edward Brant was arrested Saturday on investigation of second-degree murder. He remained in the Arapahoe County Jail Monday on $500,000 bond.
On May 3, a group of five hikers found human remains under a blue tarp near Mine and Crest roads in Clear Creek County, according to an Englewood police investigator’s statement supporting Brant’s arrest.
The hikers alerted the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responding to the scene found a woman’s body, but the head and both hands had been removed, the arrest statement said.
Despite efforts to conceal the victim’s identity, the body bore a telltale clue, a tattoo of a heart and flower connected by vines on the shin of the right leg. On May 5, Clear Creek County sheriff’s officials sent out a bulletin with a photograph of the tattoo in an effort to identify the woman, who was estimated to be in her 40s.
An Englewood police detective saw the tattoo image and believed it belonged to an Englewood resident, Jacqueline Degarmo, 55, whose daughter, Alisia Blythe, had reported her missing on April 24. The daughter said Degarmo was last seen on Feb. 21, the arrest statement said.
Police interviewed Blythe, who said she and her mother had gotten matching tattoos. The daughter told a detective that the tattoo photographed from the dismembered body was her mother’s.
Meanwhile, an informant told police that Blythe’s fiancé, John Brant, may have killed Blythe’s mother, the arrest report said.
On Friday, May 8, police executed a search warrant at Degarmo’s home, located at 4046 S. Logan St. At the home, police found Brant, Blythe and another woman. The three people volunteered to come to the Englewood Police Department, where investigators interviewed each person separately.
During Blythe’s interview, she told police that Brant had strangled Degarmo to death at her home after the mother swung a stick at Blythe on Feb. 21, the arrest statement said. Blythe said Brant dragged “her body to the back yard in the snow so her body could be preserved,” the arrest statement said.
Blythe said she then left the home with her 2-year-old daughter, and when she returned, the body was gone.
“Brant told Blythe that he took care of the body but didn’t tell her what he had done with it,” the arrest statement said.
During his interview, Brant told a detective about an incident when Degarmo had threatened to shoot him and Blythe with a BB gun.
A detective asked Brant what happened to Degarmo. The detective added that police knew what happened to her. “People make mistakes,” the detective added.
Brant said he wanted a lawyer. Yet, Brant then made some voluntary remarks, police said.
“I was pushed man,” he said, according to the arrest statement. “I’m really not a violent person…This is not something that like I ever thought in my life would ever happen. I mean I really didn’t, I really, really didn’t.”
The interview then ended and Brant was arrested, police said.
Englewood police are asking the public’s help in locating the victim’s 1997 metallic blue Nissan 200SX. It has Colorado license plate number 632LHE. Police ask anyone with information on the car contact the Englewood Police Department at 303-761-7410.
Brant has prior arrests for felony possession of dangerous drugs and marijuana distribution, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation arrest database. Brant’s nicknames are “J Doobie” and “Nugfather,” his CBI report states.
“She was my friend, she was my lover. This really comes as a surprise.” said John Sheridan who dated Degarmo on and off for 25 years.
“I’m just shaking. I don’t know what the hell to do,” he told 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart. “Very angry. I’d like to see him and tell him what he’d done to me. Because she was a good friend.”