Grand County bones may be tied to ’05 plane crash
summit daily news
GRAND COUNTY ” A Front Range couple camping with their dog along the Colorado River on Memorial Day weekend may have discovered part of the remains of a Pueblo man who died in a plane crash more than a year ago.
Brady Burke, of Longmont, and Lindsey Regnery, of Boulder, woke up Monday morning at their campsite near Radium to find Burke’s dog, Shea, chewing on a hiking boot.
Burke said he went over to check out the boot his dog had found and “saw the bone sticking out.”
Burke said he and Regnery packed up camp immediately and hiked out to report their find to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. They then helped investigators find their way back to the area where Shea found the boot.
Grand County coroner Dave Schoenfeld said he investigated the discovery, and believes the remains may be be those of William Duffy, of Pueblo, who was flying in a small 1954 Piper Tripacer with his friend, Dr. Clay Courtright, when their plane crashed near a site known as McClure’s Overlook in Gore Canyon.
Both men were described as experienced pilots who had flown from Pueblo to Kremmling, then refueled April 7, 2005 in Kremmling shortly before the crash.
Initially, search efforts focused on the Hoosier Pass area, south of Breckenridge, based on a reported transponder signal. But the crash site was eventually discovered in Grand County in August 2005.
Recovery teams identified the remains of Courtright but could never find any trace of Duffy. The shoe found this past weekend is several miles from the crash site, but Schoenfeld speculated the remains could have been washed downstream.
He said the size of the shoe and other information was consistent with what was reported by Duffy’s family.
Schoenfeld said searchers returned to the crash site Monday and scoured the area for several hours to see if they could find additional remains.
“We did come up with some other portions of bones,” he said, but added that it was too early, pending tests, to know for sure whether they are part of Duffy’s remains.
Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996, or at email@example.com.
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