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El Paso County Coroner says victim found after 2021 house fire died by strangulation

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo (KRDO) -- An autopsy report obtained by 13 Investigates and released by the El Paso County Coroner, reveals the 74-year-old woman who was found after a structure fire in May 2021 died as a result of "blunt and sharp force injuries with strangulation."

On May 10, 2021, officers with the Colorado Springs Police Department responded to a fire at a single-family home at 22 W. Cheyenne Road after the Colorado Springs Fire Department found a body on the property.

"I called 911 I was the first one here," Zechariah Andrews told 13 Investigates. "The fire was self contained in the house, but there was some flames coming outside the two windows."

According to the autopsy report, Theresa Graham was "found on the ground under a tarp, grill, and other items after a fire at her home."

Dr. Leon Kelly, the El Paso County Coroner, noted in the report there were several bodily injuries including head and neck contusions, a stab wound to the forehead, rib fractures, a ruptured and pulpified spleen, and a hyoid fracture.

In total, she suffered a stab would to her left forehead and 16 other incise wounds on her wrists and arms, according to the autopsy report.

According to CSPD, detectives with CSPD's Homicide/Assault Unit developed probable cause and obtained an arrest warrant for murder in the first degree for 48-year-old Yeurashka Graham, Theresa Graham's son, on March 24. Monday, CSPD detectives arrested him in connection with her murder.

"But why? We want to know, the community here and neighbors want to know why. Why did you do this to your own mom," Andrews questioned.

Graham was already located in the El Paso County Jail booked on an attempted first-degree murder charge for wielding a religious statue as a weapon during a rampage on May 10, 2021, on the north side of Colorado Springs.

Andrews and other nearby neighbors had their suspicions that Theresa Graham did not die from the fire, but rather, at the hands of her son.

"A long time coming. We knew it was going to happen, we knew what happened from day one," Andrews told 13 investigates. "We were speculating this whole time, we knew. The community around us knew. Why would you do this and then run to go up north and threaten police officers and stuff like that?"

The arrest affidavit for Yeurashka Graham has been sealed. However, Dr. Kelly ruled that Graham's manner of death is homicide, saying her "injuries were at the hands of another individual(s)."

Yeurashka Graham has his first appearance in court for the first-degree murder charge on Friday, April 1. He has pleaded not guilty to the attempted first-degree murder charge, and has a jury trial set for April 12.

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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