BY FREDA MIKLIN
At about 11:30 a.m. on July 5, police received an emergency call from a home in Centennial about a domestic violence incident. Per the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO), a female at that location “was transported to a hospital where she was treated.” The man involved in the incident, later identified as William Frank Cronister, had fled the scene but ACSO reported that deputies “were able to contact him by pinging his phone. He began making suicidal statements to them.”
While deputies were investigating the incident in Centennial, another emergency call came in, reporting a truck on fire in Greenwood Village about a mile away from the home in Centennial where deputies were investigating the domestic violence incident. GV police officers and ASCO deputies responded to the GV location, where they found a deceased individual on the ground near the truck who turned out to be Cronister. According to the Arapahoe County Coroner, Cronister’s death “was ruled a suicide due to inhalation of products of combustion due to self-immolation” (setting one’s self on fire). ACSO told The Villager that the location where Cronister died “had nothing to do with that neighborhood (where he was found). It appears it’s just where he ended up.”
William Frank “Billy” Cronister IV was born in Bremerton, Washington on December 27, 1975 and had lived in Littleton for the past 20 years, according to the social media of his father, also named William Cronister. The elder Cronister’s post said that, in addition to his father, Billy Cronister is survived by two sisters and ten half-siblings.
Billy Cronister’s own social media, which said he worked at a local audio video business and had attended Highlands Ranch High School, contained a 1,400-word monologue detailing events and his strong emotions about a long-term relationship. It begins with the words, “I don’t know how today is going to go, though likely my last.” His message was posted on social media at 11:28 a.m., two minutes before the emergency call came in about the domestic incident, He also made separate posts of philosophical quotes on July 5 at 12:45 a.m., 4:42 a.m., and 6:00 a.m.
No other information about the incident, including the condition of the woman involved in the domestic incident, has been released by ACSO, whose investigation is continuing.