Colorado nurse rests after harrowing ordeal

AP News
Posted: Jan 02, 2010 2:54 PM

A nurse who was allegedly kidnapped by her ex-fiancee and escaped three days later at a Wyoming hotel was home safe with family Saturday, but she remained traumatized by the ordeal and has not yet spoken with family about it, her mother said.

Julie Ann Kilgore, 48, was taken from her Colorado home Tuesday, and she escaped her suspected kidnapper and former fiance, 50-year-old Dennis Gene Cox, Friday in Laramie, Wyo., authorities said. Cox, who reportedly fled Laramie, was killed hours later in a shootout with police in downtown Fort Collins, Colo.

Kilgore's mother said the emotional damage to Kilgore remains deep.

"She's OK physically," Colleen Kilgore, a psychotherapist, told The Associated Press Saturday morning, a day after her daughter reportedly escaped Cox. "But she's been very, very traumatized to the point where we haven't been able to talk about it yet."

According to authorities, the nurse was at her Brighton home watching a 7-year-old niece Tuesday when she abruptly left with her ex-fiancee. Family members became suspicious because Kilgore left the girl unattended. And when Kilgore didn't immediately return, relatives called police, who then secured a warrant for Cox's arrest on kidnapping charges.

Brighton is about 25 miles northeast of Denver, and about 55 miles south of Fort Collins.

After Kilgore escaped Cox Friday, authorities said, officers who arrived at the hotel found her hiding under a desk in the lobby, and Cox was gone.

A manhunt ended a few hours later about 70 miles southeast in Fort Collins, where Cox was fatally shot by police after authorities say he pointed a gun at officers near a downtown bus stop.

By Friday night, the nurse was sleeping at her childhood home after being interviewed by police.

"Right now she's in survival mode," Colleen Kilgore said. "She's been ungodly traumatized."

Colleen Kilgore said relatives had not believed Cox was dangerous. She did not say much about him, except that relatives did not see him as a threat.

"The person we're reading about in the paper and seeing on TV is not the Dennis we knew," she said.

Three Fort Collins police officers are on administrative leave pending a review of the Cox shooting. No officers were injured in the confrontation.