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Man Arrested in Wife’s Death in Rocky Mountain National Park

A Colorado man was indicted Thursday in the death of his second wife, who fell while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, and authorities said they are investigating the circumstances of the death of his first wife in 1995.

Harold Henthorn, 58, was arrested near his Highlands Ranch home Thursday morning and was indicted on a count of first-degree murder in the Sept. 29, 2012, death of his wife, Toni Henthorn, who fell as the two hiked in steep terrain on Deer Mountain, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Colorado and parks officials said.

Toni Henthorn, 50, fell 40 to 50 feet from the north side of the mountain sometime before 6 p.m. that day, the parks service said at the time. The indictment says Harold Henthorn “willfully, deliberately, maliciously, and with premeditation and malice aforethought did unlawfully kill” his wife.

"When a violent crime such as this occurs in a national park, one of our nation’s most treasured places, we work hard to ensure that those responsible are held accountable and the victim and the victim’s family are afforded justice," Mark Magnuson, Rocky Mountain National Park Chief Ranger, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, authorities in Douglas County said they are trying to determine whether a crime was committed in the death of Harold Henthorn’s first wife, Sandra, who was crushed by a car after a jack slipped in 1995. “We have an open and active investigation into the death of his first wife,” Douglas County sheriff’s spokeswoman Deborah Sherman said Thursday. She declined to comment further, citing the ongoing investigation.

— Phil Helsel