CO SUMMIT COUNTY JOHN DOE: WM, 23-66, found between Copper Mountain Resort and Breckenridge, CO - 10 July 2016


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On July 10, 2016 hikers in the White River National Forest discovered a human skull in an area known as the Sky Chutes between Copper Mountain Resort and Breckenridge, Summit County, Colorado. Nearly a month later, on August 3, 2016 searchers found human skeletal remains and personal items nearby. A forensic pathologist determined the remains to be that of a white male, 5’5 to 6’3, 30 to 50 years old, with strawberry blond hair. Evidence indicated he was a smoker. Damage to the skull was consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head from a Glock .45 handgun found near the remains. Two water bottles with the personal items were dated February 7, 2012, indicating the man most likely died in 2012. Other items found with the body, advanced survival gear including a high-tech headlamp and foot traction devices, were inconsistent with suicide and have baffled investigators.

DNA Doe Project Status: Research in progress


Sex: Male
Race / Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
Estimated Age Group: Adult - Pre 60
Estimated Age Range (Years): 23-66
Estimated Year of Death: 2011-2013
Estimated PMI: 4 Years

Type: Unidentified Deceased
Date Body Found: July 10, 2016
Location Found Map
Location: Colorado
County: Summit County
GPS Coordinates (Not Mapped): 392926N 1060724W
Circumstances of Recovery: Skull found in the SKY chutes area of Summit County in an avalanche field. This is located across from Copper Mountain Ski Resort off Highway 91.
Details of Recovery
Inventory of Remains: Torso not recovered, One or more limbs not recovered, One or both hands not recovered
Condition of Remains: Not recognizable - Partial skeletal parts only

Physical Description
Hair Color: Blond/Strawberry

Clothing and Accessories
Accessories: One tube Blistex lip ointment found on body. BluMaxx high performance flashlight found on body. Items in nearby purple/grey Fila backpack include: three ammunition clips for handgun in a ziplock bag, gun is a Glock 45 serial number was destroyed, one Leatherman tool, a BlackDiamond headlamp, an ace wrap and two disposable plastic water bottles. Also found near bones: Grey Garmin GPS case containing a rock, a can of bear deterrent spray, a wooden-handled hatchet.

Clothing: Black winter (snowmobile?) insulated coverall with red stripes on arms. Belted with snap front. Possible red or brown flannel lined jeans. Possible blue/teal buttoned shirt. Possible white knit tee shirt or long underwear. Black outer gloves with black liners. Brown/white outdoor socks. Possible white knit briefs. - On the Body

Clothing: Black Northface ski jacket found in nearby backpack. Black fleece balaclava in backpack. Blue "Life is Good" baseball cap found near body. Also found near body: white Northface snowpants, black Northface fleece gloves - size XL, blue fleece Columbia hat, black nylon hood. - Near the Body

Eyewear: Gold wire-rimmed reading glasses found near body.

Footwear: Dark green, gray, or black Rockport hiking shoe, size 11 on body. Black rubber Stabilizers brand yak-tracks in backpack.

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Colorado Investigators Release 3-D Reconstruction of Suicide Victim in Hopes of Identifying Him

On July 10, 2016, the remains of the man were discovered by hikers in an area between Copper Mountain Resort and Breckenridge known as the Sky Chutes (specifically, in the “Y” Chute), the coroner’s office said. And during a subsequent search, on Aug 3, 2016, human skeletal remains and personal items, including a handgun, outdoor gear and clothing were also found, setting off a baffling death investigation that has yielded far more questions than answers.

But death investigators, missing persons databases and even the Colorado Bureau of Investigation have been unable to answer the most basic question: Who was this man?

On Monday, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office laid out their findings — including a three-dimensional rendering of the man’s face — hoping that the public might recognize him and bring the bizarre investigation to a close.

“I have not had a case like this before where somebody was so well prepared and turned out to be a suicide victim,” Coroner Regan Wood said.

The actual hairstyle, and length of hair, may be different, but the dead man was white with blond hair and likely between 30 and 50 years old, although he could have been as young as 23 or as old as 66. He was between 5’5″ and 6’3″. All clothing sizes were men’s large and the boots a size 11. He was an experienced backcountry traveler, investigators say, and a smoker.

Investigators concluded that the man had been on the Colorado Trail and then walked knowingly off trail, into the woods and shot himself, uninterested in ever being found. He wore a black snowmobile suit, gold wire-rimmed glasses and a light blue “Life is Good” hat.

“We were not able to find any identifying information — there was no driver’s license, no wallet, no car keys, anything of that nature,” Wood said.

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Who was this man? Mysterious bodily remains found near Breckenridge stump investigators

He packed plenty of survival gear, apparently ready for a long trip. But for whatever reason, investigators say, he shot himself in the head on the west side of Peak 6 in 2012.

Hikers found his skull four years later in July 2016, setting off a baffling death investigation that has yielded far more questions than answers.

Why was the man carrying advanced survival gear, including a high-tech headlamp and foot traction devices, if he intended to kill himself?

Why was he carrying three full magazines of ammunition for the Glock .45 he used?

Perhaps most puzzling of all, why was the serial number on the gun defaced, rendering it impossible to identify?

But death investigators, missing persons databases and even the Colorado Bureau of Investigation have been unable to answer the most basic question: Who was this man?


Staff member
Man Whose Remains Were Found In Backcountry Unidentified So Far

The coroner in Summit County is looking for information about humans remains found last summer.

Hikers found his body in a backcountry area between Copper Mountain and Breckenridge ski resorts. It’s known as the Sky Chutes, and it’s located in the Tenmile Range of the White River National Forest.

Investigators say they suspect the man killed himself and that it happened sometime after February 2012, because two water bottles were found with the remains that were bottled in that month.

“We’ve been working on this investigation for just over a year now, and we keep running into brick walls and false leads. We hope that someone who sees this artist’s reconstruction will recognize the decedent and help us find some answers,” said Summit County Coroner Regan Wood in a prepared statement.


Staff member
Info on the Colorado Trail.

The CT comprises 567 miles of trail between Denver and Durango and passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Colorado Rockies

IF he was actually planning on hiking the full Colorado Trail from a starting point in Denver, he would have made it approximately 113 miles to that point.



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