Murder victim still unnamed
VAIL – On a rainy, chilly highway just below a remote mountain pass in southeastern Eagle County Thursday, police searched for a killer who left a 57-year-old Summit County woman dead earlier this week.
Three full days after the woman, an employee of Keystone Resort, was found shot in the head behind a green pickup truck parked on a lonely dirt road near Pando Junction, near Camp Hale, Eagle County Sheriff’s investigators still have not released the victim’s name. Investigators apparently have had trouble contacting the woman’s relatives.
“It’s not something that happens here every day, and we’re trying to do everything we can to find people who might remember seeing something,” said Kim Andree, a spokeswoman for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies set up a roadblock just north of Camp Hale along U.S. Highway 24 Thursday afternoon. They were stopping motorists and handing out fliers showing photos of the crime scene in the hopes someone remembers seeing something suspicious along the highway Monday evening, when commuters found the woman’s body.
“What we want to do is slow down people traveling between Leadville and Eagle County, give them fliers and ask if they saw anything,” Andree said.
“Thursday was a weekday, like Monday, and hopefully, we’ll get a lot of the same traffic.”
The roadblock was set up between 3 and 7 p.m. Pando Junction is the spot where railroad tracks cross under Highway 24 just north of Camp Hale, the former training grounds for the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division.
Investigators are still searching for two men driving a light-colored or white pickup truck that was seen in the Camp Hale area about two hours before the commuters found the woman’s body.
Sheriff’s detectives, who have been assisted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, have released few details about the crime scene. Andree said the green pickup the woman was lying behind belonged to one of her friends, but she did not identify that person.
The woman reportedly was seen Monday afternoon in Red Cliff, where she asked directions to Camp Hale, said John L. Martinez, owner of Johnny’s Liquor Store.
“She came by the liquor store,” Martinez said. “It bothered me she asked directions to Camp Hale and not to a campground or anyplace like that.”
News of the woman’s murder caused jitters in communities along the mountain highway.
Detectives have said they are confident they know who the woman is, and that she lived in Summit County, but they have not been able to notify her next of kin.
A spokeswoman for Keystone Resort has confirmed the woman was an employee there.
“While this individual did not die while at work, the Sheriff’s Office has requested our support in their criminal investigation,” said Dawn Doty, communications manager for Keystone. “We are cooperating fully.”
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office also is participating in the homicide investigation.
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.”
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