Murder in the Heartland is in the mountains of Colorado to investigate the shocking murder of Patricia Richmond in Steamboat Springs in 2015.
On June 29, 2015, the body of 22-year-old Patricia Richmond was found tied up at her home; she had been strangled to death and raped.
Patricia had recently got engaged to Keith West, and the pair were looking forward to spending the rest of their lives together. However, a distant cousin of Keith’s, Cole Pollard, destroyed their dreams when he murdered Patricia.
It is unclear exactly how she died, but Pollard later told the cops that he “snapped” while in Patricia’s company and began choking her.
According to reports, Patricia was already dead when Pollard bound her wrists with plastic zip ties and a leather purse strap and then proceeded to sexually assault her remains.
He then stole several items from the house, which included money, a rifle, and a samurai sword, and fled the scene.
Cole Pollard caught hiding at a campsite
The police eventually caught up to Pollard two days later at a campsite where he was hiding out, about 70 miles from the scene of the murder.
The prosecution argued that the murder was premeditated and intentional and that Pollard intended to rape his victim first and then kill her.
Whereas the defense argued that it had been a spur of the moment crime, a rush of blood to the head.
In May 2016, Pollard pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was subsequently sentenced to 50 years to life in prison. He will have to serve a minimum of 37 to 38 years before he’s eligible for parole.
After Pollard’s guilty plea, his attorney, Tamara Brady, said: “This really is an example of a good person who has done something wrong, and I think Cole knows that at this point.”
More from Murder in the Heartland
Follow the links to read about more horrific murders from small-town America.
Susan Baker and her boyfriend, Thomas Bettis, decided to rob Clifford ‘Roddy’ Carden Jr. of his prescription drugs and money. As Carden was giving the pair a lift, he began arguing with Baker, whom he knew well; at some point, she snapped and shot him in the side of the head.
Moe Gibbs was a correctional officer at Barnes County Jail in North Dakota who abused the inmates and had a history of sexual violence. In 2006, he also became a murderer when he killed his student neighbor, 22-year-old Mindy Morgenstein.
Murder in the Heartland airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.