Arrest Report: New details emerge in case of woman accused of killing former UNLV professor and ex-husband

Local News

HENDERSON (KLAS) — An arrest report detailed how police caught 44-year-old Rita Colon, the woman accused of killing a former UNLV professor in 2016 and her husband in 2005.

Colon allegedly knew that Leroy Pelton had $1.1 million retirement fund. Police believe that’s why she stabbed Pelton multiple times at his home in Henderson.

According to the report, police believe Pelton was murdered inside his residence between Nov. 15 and November 16, 2016. They found his body badly decomposed on December 10, 2016, during a wellness check.

Gregory Smith, a friend of Colon, told authorities Colon been acting strange on Nov. 16. He detailed how she came to his home after only having been once before and looked like she had been “profusely sweating” and “disheveled.” Smith also said she was wearing a new set of clothes with the tags still attached and asked to shower at his home.

In the days following, Colon asked to leave her BMW sedan with Smith, as well as have her mail forwarded to his address. He who told authorities he said yes and helped her pack before she flew from the United States to Peru with her juvenile daughter and mother.

Investigators obtained cell phone records from both Pelton and Colon and found both phones pinged cell towers in area near Pelton’s home, as well as near Smith’s home between Nov. 15 and 16. According to the report, on those same dates, a Hispanic female, muffling her voice to sound like a male, called the Teacher’s Insurance and Annuity Association of America regarding Pelton’s retirement account. After identifying herself as Pelton, she was asked for additional verification of the account. After she was unable to answer, police say she hung up. Smith verified the caller was Colon to police after listening to the recorded conversation.

Colon was extradited to Las Vegas on Thursday, Oct. 31, and booked into Henderson Detention Center. She was booked on the charge of Open Murder with a Deadly Weapon.

As a condition of her extradition, prosecutors have agreed not to seek the death penalty.

The death of Edwin Colon, Rita’s first husband, was originally ruled a suicide, but police took another look at the case after Pelton was killed.

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