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Search For Killer After Cyclist Gunned Down On Trail

By Tom Mustin

PALMER LAKE, Colo. (CBS4)- A killer is still on the loose after shooting a bicyclist near a popular trail near Palmer Lake.

Stunned, scared, and angry; that's the reaction from Palmer Lake neighbors after longtime resident Tim Watkins was shot to death while riding his bike near Mount Herman Road.

"People that can shoot people for no reason… it's just unbelievable," longtime friend Eddie Jones told CBS4's Tom Mustin.

Thursday, the popular bicyclist left his home for his daily trail ride, carrying only his CamelBak and a light jacket. His wife reported him missing that night. Sunday, his body was found near the Mount Herman trail. The killer is still on the loose.

Tim Watkins
Tim Watkins (credit: CBS)

"The fact that someone was actually murdered on the mountain, that's really scary," said Jones.

Jones says the Watkins, 61, had no enemies. He loved his family, friends and the community. Biking was his passion.

"Real into the bicycle world. That was his thing. Very quiet. Sweet person. He would do anything for you."

Tim Watkins murder
(credit: CBS)

Watkins had been riding a bike designed by his friend Jeff Tessier when he was gunned down. They had worked together on biking projects for more than a decade.

"I think of Tim as a legend in the mountain bike community. He had a passion for riding and loved it so dearly," said Tessier.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office says investigators have no idea what led to the shooting, and no suspects. They're hoping the public will provide some answers.

Tim Watkins found shot to death on Mt. Herman (credit: CBS)

"If they see anything out of the ordinary, please give the Sheriff's Office a call. No tip is too small," said Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jacqueline Kirby.

And after a senseless crime on a rural road, and a killer still on the loose, Jones is hoping for justice.

"Anybody who knows anything, let somebody in authority know, because it needs to be dealt with."

Residents are being asked to be vigilant on the trails near Palmer Lake, and report any suspicious activity. If you have any information that can help identify a suspect, call the El Paso County Sheriff's Office at 719-390-5555 or their Tip Line at 719-520-6666.

Tom Mustin is CBS4's Weekend Anchor. He has been with CBS4 since 2002, and is always looking for great story ideas. Connect with Tom on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @TomCBS4.

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