by Rick Langenberg
An investigation still continues regarding a rare murder in the Manitou Springs area, resulting in the death of a 32-year-old woman. The body of Crysta Chrisholm was discovered last week, wrapped in a quilt under a trailer at space 12 in the El Paso Mobile Home Community, located at 15, El Paso Blvd., near Manitou Springs. Her death, which has shocked many people in Manitou Springs, has been declared a homicide. It is the second reported homicide in El Paso County this year, according to representatives of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department. Homicides are extremely rare occurrences in Manitou Springs.
No arrests have occurred in relation to the recent murder. But the case has sparked many questions. Chrisholm’s body was found beneath the trailer home of 43-year-old Howard York, who was arrested on Feb. 10 on suspicion of robbing a west side Papa Murphy’s restaurant while wielding a machete in late January. As a result of this incident, he gained the nickname, “The Machete Bandit.” On Friday morning, investigators moved the trailer to a secure location for further testing. Some neighbors believe Howard York, who was reportedly the victim’s boyfriend, is a probable suspect in the case. In media interviews last week, neighbors claimed the two were heard frequently arguing.
The dead body was discovered when Alvin York, Howard’s brother, and another man were preparing to move the trailer, according to a report in the Colorado Springs Gazette. Once they discovered the body, they called deputies. It still has not been determined how long the body remained under the trailer. Howard York remains in the El Paso County jail on a $25,000 bond on aggravated robbery charges. However, no charges have been filed against him in connection with the discovery of Chrisholm’s body. In fact, the sheriff’s office has not even indicated if he is a suspect. According to Lt. Lari Serene of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department, once detailed information is obtained from the coroner’s office, authorities can then narrow the focus of their investigation. The homicide victim was described as someone who often disappeared and had limited interaction with her family. Family members reported not having any contact with her for about six months.