DNA Potentially Links Suspect to Murder of Colorado Jeweler

CrimeJan 12, 2024

DNA Potentially Links Suspect to Murder of Colorado Jeweler

The DNA was recovered from flex cuffs found at the scene of the Nov. 29 murder of Peter Damian Arguello.

Stock photo of police crime scene tape
Police in Colorado recently arrested a man for burglarizing a jewelry store in the town of Wheat Ridge and an affidavit filed in support of his arrest shows he may also be connected to the store owner’s homicide.
Wheat Ridge, Colorado—A man arrested and charged with burglarizing a Wheat Ridge, Colorado, jewelry store in December also could be connected to the late November murder of the store’s owner, court papers reveal.

Charles Robinson Shay, 41, of Aurora, Colorado, was arrested Dec. 27 and faces charges of felony motor vehicle theft in the second degree, criminal possession of an identification document, and second-degree burglary, according to the Jefferson County (Colorado) District Attorney’s Office.

According to an affidavit filed the day after Shay’s arrest, he admitted to police that he pried open the door and entered Peter Damian Fine Jewelry & Antiques on Dec. 26, but did not take anything because “nothing was there.”

The store’s owner, Peter Damian Arguello, was found shot to death inside his shop on the morning of Nov. 29 in what police then described as a possible robbery homicide. 

Shay told police he had heard about the robbery homicide and looked at breaking into the store as a “crime of opportunity” because he knew the business was boarded up and not occupied. 

However, evidence recovered from the scene of Arguello’s murder may tell a different story.

According to the affidavit, during the investigation of the murder police found three flex cuffs looped together with a latex glove intertwined on the floor in front of one of the store’s safes. Silver coins had been removed from the safe. 

Surveillance video of the robbery homicide shows a male suspect pull a gun on Arguello and try to handcuff the jeweler with the flex cuff. According to the affidavit, Arguello resisted and the man shot him three times. 

Police were able to obtain a DNA sample from swabs of the cuffs and on Dec. 8, the Jefferson County Regional Crime Lab found a match via the Combined DNA Index System, better known as CODIS.

 Related stories will be right here … 

According to the affidavit, the DNA came back as a match for Shay, a self-described “habitual criminal” who’s had prior convictions for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute (2005), motor vehicle theft and vehicular eluding (2006), identity theft (habitual offender), and theft by receiving (2012). 

He is currently wanted in California on a felony warrant for motor vehicle theft. 

When police told Shay that his DNA had been found on the flex cuffs recovered from the murder scene, he stopped talking, the affidavit states. 

On the day Arguello was murdered, witnesses said they saw two people leaving through the back door of the jewelry store and driving away in a red Chevy Silverado pickup truck, which authorities later determined had been stolen.

Police recovered the truck on Dec. 1 in Centennial, Colorado. It had been set on fire and “heavily damaged,” according to the affidavit, though police were able to recover two hats from the bed of the truck that were only partially burned.

The hats matched those worn by the two individuals seen fleeing the jewelry store after Arguello’s murder.

Wheat Ridge police said they are not releasing any more information about the investigation at this time.  

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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