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Suspected killer ends own life in Vedauwoo area following multi-agency pursuit

I-80 near Vedauwoo, looking north, 8/14/21 (WYDOT)

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of harming themselves, please call 911. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or text “WYO” to 741-741 for the Crisis Text Line.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A man, suspected of homicide, was found dead Tuesday in a remote part of Albany County, ending a multi-state law enforcement effort. Joseph Mladenik, identified as the suspect, apparently took his own life.

Around 1:16 p.m., local authorities were alerted that Mladenik, fleeing from Weld County, Colorado, had entered nearby Laramie County and was considered armed and dangerous. The Albany County Sheriff’s Office, along with multiple other agencies, swiftly responded, locating Mladenik’s disabled vehicle near FS Road 701.

Initial reports indicated that Mladenik, making suicidal statements, might be hiding near a specific rock formation in the Vedauwoo area. Law enforcement, using a drone, later confirmed his location and discovered he was armed.

This incident prompted an extensive collaborative effort involving several agencies, including the Wyoming Highway Patrol, Laramie Police Department and Wyoming State Parks, among others. The agencies worked together to secure the area and ensure public safety.

Authorities have confirmed that there is no longer a public safety threat, but the case remains under investigation in Milliken, Colorado.