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Culinary arts community fundraises for Rye murder victims' family

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: Jan 11 2014 08:48:55 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 12 2014 12:11:49 AM CST

PCC culinary students raise money in honor of their former classmate and murder victim, Kim Tuttle. Olivia Wilmsen reports.

PUEBLO, Colo. -

Three people were murdered in their home in Rye on Nov. 27, 2013. Law enforcement say the suspect set the house on fire to cover it up. 

The Pueblo Community College Culinary Arts Program hosted a fundraiser on Saturday (1/11/14) for Kim Tuttle's family. Kim, her husband, Reginald, and daughter, Dawn Roderick, were killed in their home in Rye. Kim was a student at PCC.

"It was a big loss and it was a big shock," said Kim's friend Deann Pujol.

Firefighters responded to a house fire in Rye that day. They found three bodies inside: Kim and Reginald Tuttle and their daughter, Dawn Roderick.

"You wake up and it's still just weird. It's like wow, this really happened," said Pujol.

It wasn't the fire that killed them. They had been shot to death. Investigators said the suspect, a friend of the family's, is Harry Mapps. He was arrested in a motel in Oklahoma on Dec. 28 after officers were looking for him for more than a month.

Kim Tuttle's classmates and friends were part of the team that organized the fundraiser.

"I've never seen someone work so hard in my life," said Cali Costa.

"She was just fun. She was fun to be around," said Pujol.

The fundraiser included a meal for $10/plate to raise money for Kim's family.

"It could be our way of paying tribute to her because she was such a wonderful person," said Pujol.

Kim went back to school and found a passion for culinary arts. In fact, she was the president of the PCC Culinary Arts Club. Kim's friends said her daughter, Dawn followed in her footsteps.

"Kim really modeled what it was like to be a non-traditional student and so Dawn really picked up the ball and came back to school, too," said Pujol.

The goal of the fundraiser was to raise $1,000 to give to the Tuttles and Rodericks.

"Her family needs what they need right now, especially her grandkids. Whatever we can do to help them in any way is a grateful thing, said Kim's friend Tiffany Romero.

PCC culinary alumni, current students and faculty organized the event. They served 58 meals. An organizer said with donations, they should reach the $1,000 goal.

The suspect in the triple murder, Mapps, faces six counts of first-degree murder, six counts of aggravated robbery, one count of first-degree arson, one county of tampering with physical evidence, two counts of identity theft and two counts of forgery.

The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office said Mapps cashed two checks totaling $8,000 that belong to the victims.

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