Reward in American Elm double homicide in Denver is $5,000

A reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in a double homicide at a West Highland neighborhood restaurant in Denver is now $5,000.

The Denver Police Department and Metro Denver Crime Stoppers announced the increase on Friday.

The homicides happened Monday at American Elm in the 4100 block of West 38th Avenue, police said. The bodies of Emerall Vaughn-Dahler and Ignacio “Nacho” Gutierrez Morales were found inside the restaurant. Police continue to look for a suspect, or suspects, in the ongoing case.

Vaughn-Dahler, 34, joined American Elm in June 2021 as a server and later became general manager. She is survived by her son, Michael, 12, and her husband, Andrew.

Gutierrez Morales, 58, had worked for the restaurant as a prep cook since it opened in 2019. He is survived by three children, Cinthia, 36, Johnathan 32, and Alex, 18.

The Denver restaurant community has rallied around the tragic incident, holding fundraising events in support of the victims’ families.

Anyone with information on the homicides, or on a suspect, is asked to call crime stoppers at 720-913-7867 (STOP).

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