DENVER — A bizarre, long-running case came to an end in a Denver courtroom Friday afternoon, when 59-year-old Daryl Rasmussen was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murders of Ronald Ford and Ramiro Sanchez.
Rasmussen, a reported cross-dresser who also went by the name “Ms. Puppy,” pleaded guilty to murdering the two men after they took him in off the streets, and eluding law enforcement from multiple states for almost three years.
According to the indictment against him, Rasmussen stole the couple’s car, and used their credit cards, bank accounts and identities to hide from the law.
Rasmussen was eventually arrested in California, and held on a parole violation in Texas until an indictment for the murders was brought against him late in 2013.
After serving his 30-year sentence in Colorado, Rasmussen will be ordered to serve a concurrent sentence in Texas, which may last as long as 40 years.
The tragic story reportedly began in 2011, when Ford and Sanchez had taken a previously homeless Rasmussen into their home and employed him as a housekeeper and caregiver in the months leading up to the murders, according to the indictment.
Chief Deput District Attorney Joe Morales commended family members for their patience in a long trial.
During the early stages of the investigation, Ford’s body was found first inside the west Denver home he shared with Sanchez. Shortly after that, reports named Sanchez as a suspect until his body was later found in the basement of the same home, buried underneath a plethora of items.
Before Sanchez’s body was discovered, DA spokesperson Lynn Kimbrough said, there were reports that he and Rasmussen may have run off together.
“In some instances, that implied something illicit,” Kimbrough said. “This was not true. The two victims were longtime committed partners who had taken Rasmussen into their home as a gesture of goodwill.”
Kimbrough also said the families of the victims took offense to the couple, who owned a restaurant together from 2000 to 2002, being called “failed restauranteurs,” as well as critiques of the their lifestyle voiced by their neighbors.
More than a dozen of the victims’ family members were present for Rasmussen’s sentencing Friday, with many providing emotional statements or letters about the couple, noting that their long-running commitment to helping others.