Denver police arrested a 22-year-old man in connection with a fatal stabbing Saturday, according to police.

Joshua Vargas-Belmontes was detained just 90 minutes after a 911 caller alerted officers to a man’s body in Sanderson Gulch Park, near the 1600 block of S. Hazel Court, police said in a news release Sunday.

Witnesses helped investigators quickly zero in on Vargas-Belmontes, police said, and he was formally arrested late Saturday night. He is being held for investigation of first-degree murder, police said.

The news release said investigators are still figuring out what led to the killing and how the attack unfolded. Court records show that Vargas-Belmontes was charged with trespassing, possessing burglary tools and motor vehicle theft in December 2021; that case is ongoing in Denver District Court.

Shelly Bradbury | Courts Reporter

Shelly Bradbury is the courts reporter at the Denver Post. She joined the paper in 2019 and previously worked as a crime reporter at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in Pennsylvania and the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Tennessee. She’s been a reporter since 2012, focused on criminal justice. In Pittsburgh, she helped the newspaper earn the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news after a mass shooting at a local synagogue, and in 2020 she was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting for an investigation into child sexual abuse among Amish and Mennonite communities.

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