Boulder man’s bones found |

Boulder man’s bones found

Special to the Daily/Jeff Foley A worker prepares to remove the wrecked auto. A part of the pass below the wreck was shut down Sunday because large rocks were knocked down toward the road while the vehicle was being removed.

LAKE COUNTY – A human jawbone, found by a hunter on Independence Pass Sept. 17, led the Lake County Sheriff’s Office this week to the remains of a missing man. The man, identified as Terry Johnson, 48, of Boulder, had been missing almost two years to the day.The hunter said he saw cars down a ravine, and deputies said they knew that one of the cars was reported stolen. Officers checked the identification number of the other car, a red Mazda Miata, and found that it belonged to a person who was reported missing two years ago.

Further investigation of the scene yielded a fanny pack with the missing man’s identification. A search and rescue dog aided searchers. “The dog was really good. As soon as the car was moved, he dug up a bone,” said Deputy Mark Werts. Bone fragments and clothing remnants also were found.

“I saw a pant leg with a hole you could stick a pencil through,” said Sheriff Ed Holte. Officers believe animals scattered the remains around the area.Impact points containing red paint were used to determine the trajectory of the vehicle, located about 628 feet down the slope. Based on the data, the sheriff believes the car was traveling well over 55 mph.

The case is being treated as an auto accident based on the nature of the crash and how it compares with other auto accidents on that curve, deputies said. Suicide was ruled out because there were no prior attempts of suicide, there was no note and the missing man was not seeking treatment for depression.Deputies aren’t certain what brought Johnson to the Leadville area, but they speculate he may have been on a scenic drive.

Sheriff Ed Holte said cases of missing person remains being found were relatively rare in Lake County.”Don’t drive fast on Independence Pass,” Holte said.

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