Deputy Recognized for Sand Coulee Homicide Investigation

(Cody, Wyo) – On February 5, 2016, Park County Sheriff’s Deputy Investigator Joe Torczon was honored by the Cody Elks Lodge #1611 for his tireless and selfless dedication towards solving the Little Sand Coulee homicide and bringing the suspects to justice. Each year, the Elks recognize first responders from the area for their contributions to the community. On January 9, 2014, the body of Juan Antonio Guerra-Torres’ was found on Little Sand Coulee Road approximately 1.5 miles west of Highway 294 east of Clark by a 40-year-old Cody resident who was hunting ducks with his son. Guerra-Torres had been shot multiple times and his body severely mutilated post mortem. In the early stages of this extremely difficult and complex investigation, Deputy Torczon was tasked first with identifying the victim which was made nearly impossible by the fact that the body was decapitated and also missing the left arm and right hand. He spent over 400 hours in a 3-month span working cooperatively with multiple law enforcement agencies in several states in order to identify Guerra-Torres. Once the victim’s identity was known, Deputy Torczon devoted nearly 1,500 hours over the next 10 months chasing down leads, pouring over forensic evidence and interviewing anyone who may have either been connected to the homicide in some way or who came forward with information. His dogged determination eventually paid off in March of 2015 with the arrests of three suspects in connection with the murder. All are currently awaiting trial. In accepting the award, Deputy Torczon was quick to praise the inter-agency cooperation that eventually led to the arrest of the three suspects. “We had cooperation from numerous federal, state and local law enforcement agencies across the country including agencies from Arizona, New Mexico, California, Georgia and Texas. Also, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation logged hundreds of hours on the case. I couldn’t have done it without their help.” Sheriff Scott Steward also congratulated Deputy Torczon. “Park County residents owe Deputy Torczon their thanks for his hard work and unwavering determination in bringing these three murders to justice.” Deputy Torczon joined the Park County Sheriff’s Office in 2005 as a detention deputy, eventually attaining the rank of sergeant. In 2011, he was transferred to the patrol division and then in 2013, appointed the department’s lone detective. #reboot #news