Teenager Found Dead After She Vanished While Out With Friends At Denver Nightclub
The man who killed Kenia Monge admitted he had become a “monster” and his actions were “horrible and cowardly.”
A teenager went out on a Saturday night to a club in Denver. Five months later, her body was found buried in a shallow grave.
On April 1, 2011, college student Kenia Monge, 19, was sitting with friends at the 24K Lounge when she excused herself from the table and went to the bathroom without her phone or purse.
She never returned.
According to the Denver Police Department, around 3 that morning, Monge was seen miles away from the nightclub at a Conoco gas station, ABC News reported.
“We get lots of missing cases. No one thinks this girl ran away,” police spokesman Lt. Matthew Murray said at the time. “We have reason to believe that what took place is not good. We are very concerned.”
Murray added that family called the situation a “nightmare scenario.”
On Sept. 7, 2011, five months after Monge disappeared, police recovered her body from a shallow grave in Weld County. The following day, the Denver district attorney charged then-31-year-old Travis Forbes with the teenager’s murder.
According to ABC News, police got a break in the case when Monge’s stepfather found a text from Forbes to Monge on the missing teen’s cell phone.
At the time of his arrest, Forbes, a local entrepreneur, was already behind bars in connection with the physical and sexual assault of Lydia Tillman at her Fort Collins apartment on July 5, 2011.
In that case, Forbes attacked Tillman, who he didn’t know, according to the Denver Post. He doused her with bleach to destroy evidence and then set her second-floor unit on fire.
Tillman managed to escape the blaze by jumping out her window. Despite Forbes’ efforts to get rid of evidence, he was matched to DNA recovered from beneath Tillman’s nails, prosecutors said.
The incident occurred just over three months after Monge disappeared.
After his arrest for Monge’s murder, the suspected killer told police he met the teen near the club where she was hanging out with her friends the night she disappeared. Forbes claimed Monge was drunk and incoherent. In his version of events, he was giving Monge a ride home in his van and she asked for a cigarette, so he stopped at the Conoco gas station. He then claimed she met a man there and left with him.
ABC News reported that an investigation determined the gas station was closed at the time Forbes said they stopped. He was also seen on surveillance video the night Monge went missing carting a cooler into a bakery where he rented space and placing it inside a freezer. His van smelled like bleach.
Forbes pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the Monge case on Sept. 26, 2011, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“What I did was horrible and cowardly. It was a mistake,” Forbes said about the murder. “Please remember me, remember me as I was, not as the monster I have become.”
In October 2011, Forbes was sentenced to 48 years in prison after also pleading guilty to assaulting Tillman, according to The Denver Post. He was ordered to serve the sentence consecutively with the life sentence he received for killing Monge.
For more on this case, stream See No Evil: "Good Samaritan" on Max.