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Alleged 'Hatchet Man' Arrested, May Be Linked To Other Crimes

By Tom Mustin

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)- Disturbing new details have emerged in the unsolved shooting death of Palmer Lake bicyclist Tim Watkins that may link the suspect to unsolved murders several states away.

"If you knew Tim, he was an incredible human being." Palmer Lake resident Adam Guller told CBS4's Tom Mustin.

PALMER LAKE CYCLIST SHOT 12VO_frame_210
Tim Watkins found shot to death on Mt. Herman (credit: CBS)

Watkins was gunned down two weeks ago while riding his bike along a popular Monument trail.
On Monday, police arrested Daniel Nations after he allegedly threatened several people with a hatchet near the same trail.

Daniel Nations
Daniel Nations (credit Teller County)

"Thank God they got someone," said Guller.

"It's got to be the guy , it's got to be the guy," said resident Anthony Ramos.

Authorities will not say if Nations, 31, is a suspect in Watkins death, but there are new concerns about the man. Nations is a convicted sex offender. He was arrested in Colorado driving a vehicle with expired Indiana license plates.

daniel nations
Daniel Nations (credit: Sex Offender Registry South Carolina)

In February, two girls were murdered on a hiking trail in Indiana. The killer has not been found. Jacque Kirby with The El Paso County Sheriff's Office says police in Indiana have requested no further information be released to the public.

"They have asked us not to speak on their case. So I'm not at liberty to elaborate on anything that's related to what happened in Indiana," said Kirby.

Mount Herman Trailhead
(credit: CBS)

And with a suspect in custody, and mysterious silence from authorities, resident Anthony Ramos says Nations arrest is either an unlikely coincidence, or just the tip of the iceberg.

"If Indiana police have been looking for the person, and we find him here, I mean how many other things can this person be connected to?"

MOUNT HERMAN AX THREAT 12VO.transfer_frame_505
(credit: CBS)

Nations is being held in the Teller County jail. He's been charged with possession of a weapon by a previous offender. Other charges are pending.

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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