A Kansas man who is wanted in connection with the deaths of two women in Kiowa County ran one of them over and hid both their bodies, police allege.
Phillip Lieurance, a 36-year-old man from Emporia, Kansas, will face one charge of second-degree murder and two charges of tampering with a dead body in the deaths of Linda Estrada, 44, and Amy Ford, 39, when he returns to Colorado, according to a Kiowa County arrest affidavit.
Lieurance is detained in the Lyons County Jail in Kansas on charges unrelated to the Colorado homicides, including vehicular assault and other traffic violations.
Kiowa County sheriff’s deputies issued an arrest warrant for Lieurance in connection with the deaths of the Kansas women after their remains were found by law enforcement in rural eastern Colorado on Sept. 20.
Lieurance told Kiowa County deputies that the two women had gotten into a fight in his vehicle while he was driving on Interstate 70, and he pulled off the road when it escalated to punches being thrown, the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, Lieurance told Kiowa County deputies that the two women got out of the truck and Ford picked up a rock and hit Estrada in the head with it. Lieurance claimed that he ran into Ford with his truck to try and break up the fight, hitting her with the front driver’s side of the vehicle.
Lieurance then moved the two bodies to a remote area to hide them from law enforcement, the arrest affidavit stated.
The two women were reported missing in Kansas on Sept. 11, and on Sept. 16, Kansas officials reached out to the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office to open up a multi-state missing persons investigation.
Lieurance had been arrested returning to Emporia on Sept. 10 when he intentionally rammed into multiple cars on the road and was taken into custody by the Lyons County Sheriff’s Office in Kansas, according to the arrest affidavit.
When Emporia officers towed Lieurance’s car after his arrest, they noticed what looked like blood stains on the center console, passenger seat and rear area of the car, the arrest affidavit stated.
After finding knives, needles and two cellphones in the car, Kansas officials were worried Lieurance had dumped the women’s bodies and traced the phones’ movement back to Kiowa County using cellular data and security videos, according to the affidavit.
According to a search warrant from the Emporia Police Department, Ford called 911 from a gas station in Denver, claiming that Lieurance had made threats to kill her and Estrada, and threatened them with a knife. By the time Denver police arrived, Ford was gone.
Investigators from the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office also noted a hang-up 911 call that the sheriff’s office received Sept. 10 in the arrest affidavit. During the initial call, dispatchers could hear a female voice saying something about 911 and screaming in distress.
According to the affidavit, when the phone call disconnected, a 911 dispatcher attempted to call the number back, but a male voice answered. He claimed everything was fine, but refused to give a name or address before hanging up. Dispatchers were unable to reach anyone at that number again.
Lieurance confessed to at least one homicide during a Sept. 18 interview with Kansas officers, telling police they would find the bodies southwest of Eads next to a cow pond, the arrest affidavit stated.
The following morning, Deputy Avery Snover with the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office gathered a search party to begin looking for the two women in the area Lieurance described, but deputies were unable to find anything, according to the affidavit. Later that day, Lieurance told Emporia detectives that he wanted to voluntarily show Colorado law enforcement where the bodies were.
On Sept. 20, Lieurance arrived in Colorado under a police escort and led officers to the women’s bodies.
Lieurance has not been officially charged by the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Colorado as the case remains under investigation, a spokesperson for the department said Monday. He is awaiting a Jan. 19 sentencing hearing for his charges in Kansas.