Detective still seeking info in Camp Hale murder |

Detective still seeking info in Camp Hale murder

Reid Williams

EAGLE COUNTY – It’s described as an early model, white Dodge pickup with an extended cab, dual exhaust and running boards.The passenger-side running board is loose. The windows are tinted and there could be a container – a toolbox, maybe – in the truck bed.

And the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office wants to know if you’ve seen it.

Investigators are running out of leads in the murder of Melba Jean Ginther. The 57-year-old Keystone pastry chef was found May 20, lying in the dirt road near the railroad crossing at Pando Junction in the Camp Hale area outside Leadville. She was shot in the back of the head just 150 yards from Highway 24.

Since the discovery of the body, officers from the Eagle, Lake and Summit county sheriff’s offices, Leadville and Buena Vista police departments and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation have been looking for clues as to who would commit the murder and why. But little information has surfaced, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office Detective Doug Winters said Wednesday.

After a difficult search to locate Ginther’s family, the detective learned the woman had little contact with relatives. Investigators questioned Ginther’s coworkers, but found the woman typically worked alone. Resort bus drivers told officers Ginther was a sweet, grandmotherly woman who gave them cookies and desserts; one shared a common interest as a gold-panning hobbyist. But still, police are no closer to a killer.

The best lead so far, Winters said, is the pickup. Winters and other officers set up a roadblock on Highway 24 in the days after the murder to question commuters along the route between Leadville and Minturn. They learned passersby had seen the pickup and people four-wheeling in the area.

The detective has put up fliers throughout the mountains featuring descriptions of the truck and asking anyone with information to contact police.

“It’s beginning to look like it’s random,” Winters said. “It’s a more difficult case just because of that nature – you don’t have as many leads to work on. And we know there’s many, many of this type of truck out there.”

Winters said officers are working the case as actively as possible.

“We definitely don’t want the Ginther case to languish. We want to keep it on people’s minds,” he said.

More Information

-Anyone who can confirm the identity of the men in the truck or the location of the truck is urged to call the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office at (800) 315-5275 or (970) 328-8530.

-Anyone who has information or may have witnessed this crime may earn up to $1,000 and remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers of Eagle County at (970) 328-7007 or (800) 963-TIPS or on-line at by clicking on “extra, extra.”

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