'Suspect' in missing teen case arrested for Fort Collins fire, attack

12:06 PM, Jul 13, 2011   |    comments
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9Wants to Know has learned that Travis Forbes, 31, was arrested in connection with a suspicious fire and an alleged assault in Fort Collins on July 5.

According to Fort Collins Police, a 30-year-old woman who lived alone was assaulted before she jumped from the second-story window of her apartment complex because it was on fire. She suffered burns and is still in the hospital in a medically-induced coma.

Det. Jaclyn Shaklee of the Fort Collins Police Department says Forbes brutally attacked the woman and poured bleach on her body, from head-to-toe, before setting fire to the apartment. Investigators say Forbes used the bleach in an attempt to hide evidence and he left the victim for dead.

Shaklee says the woman and Forbes did not know each other.

Forbes emerged as a person of interest in the investigation when officials learned late last week of his presence in the Fort Collins area.

According to an arrest affidavit, police stopped Forbes and a woman he was walking with in the area of Remington Street and East Mulberry Street on July 10. Officer Shane Hasebroock says Forbes provided a fake name and date of birth.

"Travis appeared extremely nervous when he provided this information and he said he did not have identification and did not know his address and he did not have a phone number," Hasebroock wrote in the affidavit.

Police contacted him again later that night and noticed that he had changed his hat, T-shirt and had taken off his shoes, according to the document. Forbes told police he gave them a false name because he was scared and did not want the female he was with to know his real name, according to the affidavit.

According to Larimer County Detention Center, Forbes was held on the false reporting charge until police added new charges against him including attempted first-degree murder, sexual assault, arson and aggravated motor-vehicle theft.

Police executed a search of the home owned by Forbes' grandfather on Tuesday afternoon. Investigators apparently made a grid search in a field behind the house and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department was on scene to provide investigators with a bloodhound. Police also searched a jeep which Forbes' friends say is owned by his father but used by Travis.

Kenia Monge disappearance case

Forbes was first mentioned in the news when he called himself a suspect in the case of missing Aurora teenager Kenia Monge.

Monge, 19, was in the area of 14th and Market Streets on April 1 when she and her friends lost contact. She was seen a short time later at the Conoco gas station nearby, and hasn't been heard from since.

The last person known to have seen Monge is Forbes. He told 9NEWS that he saw Monge drunk outside a bar and he offered to give her a ride home. When he drove by the Conoco along Speer Boulevard to try to buy cigarettes, Forbes says Monge got out of the van and bummed a cigarette off another man. That was the last Forbes saw of the teenager, he says.

He denies doing anything to her. Police have never called him a suspect in the missing teen case, but he has called himself the "main suspect" in the case.

9NEWS spoke with Monge's family on Tuesday and Tony Monge, said he was "shocked" by Forbes' arrest.

"We're just in shock, really in shock about the events of the day," he said.

Tony Monge says he has previously talked to Forbes and calls what Forbes told him "fantastic." Tony Monge says Kenia would never stop for cigarettes and would not talk to a homeless person.

"I want to talk to him. I want to ask him one question: Where is Kenia?" Tony Monge said. "If you guys talk to him [Forbes], ask him: Where is Kenia?"

1st Bank has created the Kenia Monge Benefit Fund to increase the reward leading to the arrest and prosecution for a person who was involved in her disappearance. If you have information, call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You can remain anonymous.

Forbes' criminal history

This is not Forbes' first run-in with the law. On May 3, Forbes was arrested at 2:30 p.m. in a home in northeast Austin, Texas. Roger Wade with the Travis County Sheriff's Department says he was charged with one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle in Texas and an outstanding out-of-state warrant from Colorado on car theft.

The Colorado case traces back to a warrant from Wheat Ridge, where he was wanted for a car-theft charge from April 8. His arrest warrant was issued on May 5 and he was extradited to Colorado. He was released from jail in Colorado on June 30 at 8 p.m.

He was released from parole a year ago after being convicted of burglary in Larimer County and serving about three years in prison, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections records. In April, Forbes told 9Wants To Know Reporter Deborah Sherman he was addicted to drugs when he was a teenager and used to break into dentist offices to steal the drug Demerol.

Forbes was also caught allegedly shoplifting in Lakewood and was charged in January with a misdemeanor along with driving with expired license plates and without insurance, according to a criminal history report by the Colorado Department of Public Safety.

Records show he has been arrested three times for burglary, twice for shoplifting and several other times for assault, parole violations, trespassing and disturbing the peace since June 1997.

Forbes has had problems with his finances in the last two years because of his business, according to his website.

He was evicted from his last residence in Denver in January because he didn't pay rent and owes his landlord $3,000 in damages he left behind, according to his landlord Dena Kitsos.

The caretaker of the property says Forbes had a pot growing operation in the basement of the rental property and had rigged the electrical meters to steal electricity for his lights.

"He had a roomful of pot plants. It was a serious grow room," Matt Smith of Foothills Painting, who had to clean out the property after Forbes was evicted, said.

Smith estimates there were at least 15 large marijuana plants in the apartment.
Forbes has not been arrested because of the alleged grow operation.

If you have any information about this story or any other news tips, please email Investigative Reporter Deborah Sherman at Deborah.Sherman@9NEWS.com.

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