19-year-old Kenia Monge was murdered by Travis Forbes in Denver, Colorado: Man With A Van investigates

Mugshot of Travis Forbes
Travis Forbes was sentenced to life in prison for murdering Kenia Monge. Pic credit: Denver Police Dept.

This week on Man With A Van, the murder of Kenia Monge from Denver, CO, is profiled. Monge was a vibrant 19-year-old who had dreams of working in entertainment as a director or producer. However, her life was cut tragically short when she was murdered by Travis Forbes on April 1, 2011.

19-year-old Kenia Monge disappeared from a nightclub in downtown Denver; she had left her purse and cellphone at the club and allegedly was in a drunken stupor. She was not seen alive again.

Police had questioned Forbes after Monge’s step-father found a text message from Forbes on her cell phone. Forbes admitted to encountering a very intoxicated Monge at the night club and even confessed to giving her a lift.

However, he claimed to have left her at a gas station after Monge asked for some cigarettes. He said Monge had encountered another fellow smoker and drunkenly stumbled off with that individual.

Police remained suspicious of Forbes; his van smelled of bleach, and he’d recently put in a new carpet. It then transpired that the gas station where he claimed to have left Monge had been closed at the time. Investigators later discovered surveillance footage of Forbes behaving suspiciously.

Travis Forbes arrested for savage sexual assault

Forbes was eventually detained for attacking Fort Collins resident Lydia Tillman on July 4, 2011, who he sexually assaulted, strangled and beat about the head. Forbes attempted to cover his tracks by covering her body and apartment in bleach before lighting the whole lot on fire.

Despite her injuries, Tillman recovered consciousness before managing to jump from her second-floor window; she survived the horrific ordeal.

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Investigators were now convinced Forbes was connected with Monge’s disappearance, and they later discovered surveillance footage of Forbes behaving suspiciously with a bottle of bleach.

Travis Forbes confesses to murder

Forbes eventually admitted to the assault on Tillman and the killing of Monge. He had strangled Monge and stored her remains in a cooler before burying her in a field.

In exchange for pleading guilty, prosecutors agreed not to seek the death penalty. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Forbes had a long and varied criminal record which included breaking and entering, and criminal harassment. In 2004 he was arrested and charged with assault after flinging rocks at two women joggers.

More from Investigation Discovery

In another case from Man With A Van 13-year-old, Kacie Woody was abducted from her home in rural Arkansas by sexual predator David Fuller. Fuller had encountered Kacie in an internet chat room and then traveled from California to kidnap and murder the girl.

Another horrific murder profiled on Investigation Discovery was that of Marilyn Gandert, a 65-year-old grandmother from Albuquerque, NM,  who was savagely beaten to death by her daughter in law Alissa Bickett.

Watch Man With A Van at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery. 

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