Breck homicide victim ID’d as transient |

Breck homicide victim ID’d as transient

Caddie Nath
Vail, CO Colorado

Karl Kohler

BRECKENRIDGE – The homicide victim discovered near a Breckenridge trailhead Saturday has been identified as 45-year-old Karl Fred Kohler, a transient, authorities said Tuesday.

Kohler died from blunt force trauma.

He was camped out in the area where his body was found, possibly while doing seasonal work in town.

Volunteers participating in Town Clean Up Day discovered the body near the Burro Trail trailhead on Peak 9 before noon Saturday.

The Summit County Coroner’s Office used fingerprints to identify Kohler, and his family has been notified of his death.

With the investigation ongoing, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office has declined to comment on how long the body had been at the trailhead before it was discovered, or whether the trailhead was a dump site or the scene of the crime.

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The body was found on U.S. Forest Service land outside the ski area boundary and town limits.

The sheriff’s office, which is receiving assistance on the case from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and other local agencies, would not comment on whether they have any leads or suspects at this time.

Authorities also declined to reveal information about the condition of the body when it was found or where the trauma was suffered.

Authorities said despite the recent case, Breckenridge and Summit County residents should not be concerned for their safety.

“This doesn’t fit a pattern of crimes,” said Jamie FitzSimmons, of the sheriff’s office. “Breckenridge is a safe place, a safe community. … This is an isolated incident.”

Homicide cases in Summit County are rare. This most recent case is only the sixth in the last 12 years. One of those was a criminally negligent homicide following a boating accident on Lake Dillon in 2008, and another was a vehicular homicide charge after a driver allegedly hit and killed a visitor earlier this year in Keystone. That case is ongoing.

Stephanie Roller Bruner, a Silverthorne mother and dance instructor, was killed in November, 2010. Her husband, Dale Bruner, was later indicted on charges of second-degree murder; a trial is set for July.

Former Breckenridge resident Chuck Garrison was also charged with killing his wife in 2002.