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Man who once claimed innocence leads police to body of Kenia Monge

9:28 PM, Sep 7, 2011   |    comments
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INTERACTIVE: Travis Forbes timeline 

Investigators believe they found the remains of the 19-year-old Wednesday afternoon. Monge has been missing since April 1 after a night out in LoDo. 9Wants to Know has confirmed investigators have found her body and that self-proclaimed suspect Travis Forbes physically led investigators to her.

A positive identification and cause of death are still pending and will be released with the results of the coroner's report, according to the Denver District Attorney's office.

Monge's stepfather Tony Lee posted Wednesday afternoon on his personal Facebook page that police had reportedly found her.

"With great great sadness I have to report to you that Denver police has called me and they believe they have found Kenia, I do not have any more info at this time, the new [sic] channels have already picked this up that is why I'm telling you now," he posted.

He later responded to a comment on the "Help US FIND Kenia" Facebook page, saying "They are telling me she has passed."

Lynn Kimbrough, PIO for Denver District Attorney's office, says their chief deputy district attorney assigned to the case called Monge's family Wednesday morning to fill them in about what they knew.

"There was a reason for us to resume our search today," she said.

Sources told 9Wants to Know Forbes took police to the spot where Monge's body was located. The location is in south Weld County near Interstate 76 and Weld County Road 53. Monge was last seen with Forbes at a Denver gas station off Speer Boulevard.

Forbes, in an unrelated case, has been charged with the attempted murder of a woman in Fort Collins on July 5.

In an interview with 9NEWS in April, Forbes said he and a friend were coming home from a bar when they spotted Monge outside another club. Forbes says she was inebriated and upset.

Forbes told 9NEWS his friend walked home, and he drove Monge to the Lavish bar where she thought she had left her friends and her car. When they didn't find anything, Forbes said he started to drive her home, which was near the bakery where he made food.

He says they stopped at a Conoco gas station along Speer Boulevard to get cigarettes, but it was closed. He says she started crying again, and he was trying to calm her down when she spotted a man outside the van and jumped out to borrow a cigarette from him.

"She walked off with him. There was no reason for me to have thought anything about it. And it was 3 [a.m.]. I was like, 'OK, well...' So I went home," Forbes told 9NEWS.

He says she left with a well-dressed man who was drinking and smoking and called himself "Dan."

The next day, Forbes says he texted Monge to see if she was OK.

"Hey this is Travis, the guy who gave you a ride last night. - white creepy van.:) did you get home okay?" the text said, according to a search warrant.

Forbes says he never heard back from her.

On April 1 - the day Monge disappeared - Forbes was at a bakery where he worked and turned off surveillance cameras for two hours, according to search warrants. He was not scheduled to work that night.

The video shows him wearing what appeared to be "latex cleaning gloves that went up to his elbows." Later that night, the warrants say a witness saw two or three men standing outside the bakery, "burning something in what appeared to be a 55-gallon barrel."

Police seized the rubber gloves and the metal barrel, according to the warrants.

When police searched Forbes' white van, a detective says it appeared to be very clean and the "rug covering the back floor of the van appeared to be new and even smelled new." A witness had told police previously that there was a black rubber mat covering the back floor of the van.

Forbes is suspected of beating and sexually assaulting a woman in Fort Collins and setting fire to her apartment in July. He has been charged with 12 felony counts, which include two counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of sexual assault, another count of first-degree arson and a count of motor vehicle theft, among others.

Forbes is currently being held in Larimer County on a $350,000 cash-only bond.

His grandmother says he didn't do it.

"I don't see him as capable of harming anybody. I really truly do not see him capable of harming anybody," Jeni Forbes told 9NEWS in July.

Jeni Forbes said that her grandson had been back in Colorado for only a couple of weeks before the Fort Collins incident and he would mostly stay with his father.

Jeni Forbes says Travis Forbes attended a family Fourth of July barbeque on her property. She says her grandson left fairly early that night and told family he wanted to see the fireworks in Old Town Fort Collins.

It was early the next morning that police say Travis Forbes assaulted the woman in her Fort Collins apartment.

Police also say Travis Forbes stole her car.

Jeni Forbes says she saw Travis Forbes the next day and didn't suspect a thing as he biked up to her place. She says he didn't appear tired at all.

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. 



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