Body recovered from the Eagle River west of Edwards
Investigators have yet to determine the gender of the body and an autopsy is pending
Local authorities don’t know much yet about the body that was pulled from the Eagle River on Friday afternoon after a call came into 911 around 3:45 p.m.
The body was recovered roughly a half-mile west of Squaw Creek Road between Edwards and Wolcott.
Amber Barrett, a community affairs officer with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, said a full rescue operation commenced when the call came into the Vail Public Safety Communications Center, with crews from the Eagle River Fire Protection District, Vail Mountain Rescue Group, Eagle County Paramedics and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office assisting in the effort.
Barrett said it’s unclear whether it’s a male or female that was pulled from the river. An autopsy is pending and agencies have been in contact with families who have filed missing person reports, Barrett said.
“My understanding is that maybe it’s been in the river for a while,” Barrett said. “The water levels have receded and that’s typically when things will surface.”
Extraction of the corpse was tricky, given its location.
“There’s some private land back there, pretty sure it’s near some open space,” Barrett said. “It took a little time to coordinate, first to locate the body, nobody had eyes on it, really. There were power lines overhead, and rocks above a small rapid. We had to send folks on both sides of the river. We were down there for a couple of hours.”
The party that called 911 only spotted the body and didn’t go over to investigate, Barrett said.
Ongoing efforts to positively identify the body and determine a cause of death are being led by detectives with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and the Eagle County Coroner’s Office. Foul play has not been ruled out at this time.
“We’ll obviously look into all of our missing persons cases,” Barrett said. “We aren’t ruling anything out at this point. The investigation is ongoing and hopefully, we’ll have some more information soon. We want to ease some minds.”
If you think you may have any information about this incident, contact the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office at (970) 328-8500.
Wolves were a problem for ranchers when Kip Gates’ great-great-grandfather homesteaded in the area. He doesn’t want the problem to return.