Camp Hale homicide victim id’d as Keystone employee
The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office would like to speak with anyone who witnessed the crime or has any other information – especially anyone traveling over Battle Mountain Pass and on Hwy. 24 Monday afternoon or evening.
Anyone with information is asked to called Crimestoppers of Eagle County at (970) 328-7007 or (800) 963-TIPS or visit http://www.eaglesheriff.com and click on “extra, extra.”
EAGLE COUNTY – The hunt is on for a suspect or suspects in the shooting death of a Keystone Resort employee.
The homicide is the first in Eagle County in more than a year, police said Wednesday.
The victim is a 57-year-old Summit County woman. Her body was found about 7 p.m. Monday lying behind a green pickup truck 150 yards down a dirt road near Camp Hale, just off U.S. Highway 24 near the Pando Railroad crossing.
Her name has not yet been released because police have been unable to notify her family members.
The murder caused jitters in nearby Red Cliff, said Diana Cisneros, the town’s postmaster.
“It’s so close to home. It just hits hard when you don’t really know anything, but it’s right at our back door,” Cisneros said. “It’s so scary to know that somebody’s out there maybe.”
Police were on the lookout Wednesday for two men driving a white or light-colored pickup truck that was spotted near the crime scene about two hours before the woman’s body was found.
“We’re fairly comfortable we know who the woman is. We just need to notify next of kin,” said Detective Doug Winters of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators are pursuing several leads in the case. He said there is no evidence the woman was sexually assaulted.
Locals say the woman may have been seen in Red Cliff Monday afternoon.
“She came by the liquor store,” said John L. Martinez, owner of Johnny’s Liquor Store. “It bothered me she asked directions to Camp Hale and not to a campground or anyplace like that.”
Pando Junction is just north of Camp Hale, where the railroad tracks cross under U.S. Highway 24 between Red Cliff and Leadville. The woman’s body and the pickup truck were visible from Hwy. 24.
News of the woman’s death saddened co-workers at Keystone Resort.
“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the news that one of our employees was found dead under suspicious circumstances in Eagle County,” said Dawn Doty, communications manager for the resort. “On behalf of the Keystone family, our deepest sympathy goes out to her family and friends.”
Doty said Keystone staffers are cooperating with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation.
“We will continue to work closely with them until this case is solved,” she said. “Because this is a shocking tragedy for our employees, we are providing counseling to any of her colleagues who need support at this time.”
Eagle County Sheriff’s investigators and a crime scene squad from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation spent more than eight hours collecting evidence around the remote spot where the woman’s body was found.
An autopsy performed Wednesday revealed the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted, Kim Andree, spokeswoman for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, said in a press release.
Police did not rule the death a homicide until Wednesday.
Further details of the crime scene are not being released due to the sensitivity of the case, Andree said.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office also is participating in the homicide investigation.
Monday’s slaying is the first in Eagle County since Feb. 10, 2001, when Timothy “Chico” Destromp, of El Jebel, was beaten to death in his home during a night of heavy drinking.
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