On April 28, 1889, two residents of Flagler, Colorado, discovered the body of Henry Hatch, who had moved to Colorado several years prior. Hatch's nephew, Clark W. Hatch, had visited shortly before the alleged murder and became the primary suspect in the presumed murder.
Clark W. Hatch was born in Nelson, New York, around 1848, and lived with his uncle in Michigan in the 1860s. On March 19, 1878, he married Ella Poppleton of Birmingham, Michigan, and in 1889 the couple lived in Boston, Massachusetts, where Hatch was an agent for the Travelers Insurance Company. Hatch was acquitted of Henry Hatch's murder at a preliminary trial in Burlington, Colorado, in May 1889, and at a jury trial in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in April 1890. In February 1891, his former employer charged him with forgery and fraud. He disappeared around May 27, 1891, shortly after being released from arrest.