SHERIDAN — Co-defendants Casey Childers, 39, Leo VanBuskirk, 23, and Shantel Edlund, 43, appeared in Sheridan County Circuit Court Monday ahead of extradition proceedings. All three face kidnapping charges in Colorado.
During court proceedings Monday, the defendants indicated they are Sheridan residents.
According to Sheridan Police Department reports, the trio was arrested during a traffic stop, primarily for drug-related offenses, Dec. 29. The defendants are also linked to a much more serious offense — the kidnapping and murder of a 29-year-old woman — in Colorado.
According to an Aurora, Colorado, Police press release, police believe the woman was kidnapped in Aurora — by two men and one woman — Nov. 6, 2021. Police suspected Childers, VanBuskirk and Edlund were responsible for the kidnapping.
After the trio was arrested in Sheridan on Dec. 29, Aurora Police officers drove to Sheridan to interview Childers, VanBuskirk and Edlund. By Dec. 30, warrants were issued for the trio’s arrest for first-degree kidnapping.
The missing woman, however, was found dead in Douglas County, Colorado, Dec. 31. She has not yet been identified, Aurora Police said, but she died from a gunshot wound.
Because of the victim’s death, Childers, VanBuskirk and Edlund will likely also face murder charges in Colorado. Both first-degree kidnapping and murder are Class 1 crimes in Colorado, with mandatory life sentences.
Sheridan County and Prosecuting Attorney Dianna Bennett said she will likely dismiss the defendants’ local cases, given the severity and long sentences of their charges in Colorado.