Staff Report

A Delta County man is believed to have shot and killed his wife, before fleeing to California, where he then sustained a fatal, likely self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.

Shortly before noon Friday, July 3, Delta County Sheriff’s Office deputies were asked to check on Nola McCullough, 49, whose coworkers had not seen or heard from her for several days.

The coworker who called Delta dispatch reported the woman had not been to work, and neither she nor her husband, Jason McCullough, 40, could be reached by phone.

Deputies responding to the couple’s Austin Road home could not get anyone to come to the door or respond; they then walked around the house, peering through windows.

Through a bedroom window, they spotted a person lying on a bed and could see blood, Sheriff Mark Taylor said.

Deputies then came into the home and located Nola McCullough, who was deceased.

As the investigation swung into gear, a family member contacted the DCSO to report Jason McCullough had contacted them, confessed to killing Nola, and was suicidal in California.

Based on information investigators developed, they contacted Santa Monica Police for help in locating Jason McCullough. They provided his vehicle description.

He was found a short time later, with a possibly self-inflicted gunshot wound. McCullough was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Taylor did not immediately have information about how Santa Monica police located McCullough, or when and in what circumstances McCullough might have sustained the self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police spokesmen in Santa Monica did not immediately return calls.

Taylor said Jason McCullough had recent contact with law enforcement, but none involving domestic violence. A motive for the shooting has not been established.

“It’s an active investigation. We hope to have more information,” he said.

The deaths are the third pair of shooting deaths in Delta County since 2018.

In September, 2018, two men who had been described as friends were found dead at Patton’s Corner, near Hotchkiss. An investigation determined one of them had fatally shot the other, before taking his own life.

This past April, a Hotchkiss couple was found shot to death in their home. The investigation has not been completed, however, there is no risk to public safety.

Montrose also recently had a double fatality, the circumstances of which were deemed suspicious.

On July 1, police and other agencies responded to Sara E. Lane, where they ultimately found two people deceased. The matter is the subject of a suspicious death investigation.

“I would encourage people to reach out if they have issues at home or stress over the things going on in our world today,” Taylor said.

“Anytime people have a problem they can’t deal with, they need to reach out for help.”

The Center for Mental Health’s crisis line can be reached at 970-252-6220 or online. People can also call 911 when they believe they, or another, are at risk of imminent harm.

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