Broomfield teenager pleads guilty to murder of girlfriend
Yesterday, Alex Pacheco, 19, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Kelsey Shannon. Pacheco received a 48-year prison sentence for his plea; in exchange, the charges of first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse, and child abuse resulting in death were dropped.
Shannon, 13, went missing in October 2008. By November, as many Broomfield voters were celebrating President Obama’s election, “missing” flyers of Shannon were ubiquitous as authorities and family members searched for her. Her body was not found until January 2009, in a drainage ditch not far from her home, and by that time, physical evidence was scarce.
Pacheco’s arrest stemmed largely from witnesses who heard Pacheco brag about the murder or who helped him dispose of the body, as well as from circumstantial evidence from Pacheco’s computer.
Residents of Broomfield, the up-and-coming community with a generally low crime rate, were shocked by the perversity of the crime: while no official cause of death could be determined from her body, Pacheco is suspected of stabbing and strangling Shannon and then copulating with her dead body.