Construction resumes at site after remains found |

Construction resumes at site after remains found

Daily staff report
Dr. Melissa Conner of Colorado Mesa University and Rusty Jacobs of the Vail Police Department work at the Lionshead Inn site on Friday as part of the investigation of skeletal remains.
Special to the Daily |

EAGLE COUNTY — Construction has resumed Monday at the Lionshead Inn redevelopment site at 705 W. Lionshead Circle after a search of the site, led by the Eagle County Coroner’s Office, yielded no additional human remains. The investigation continues.

Construction was suspended on Thursday following the discovery of a human skull and a femur during excavation work on the site. The skull was discovered from a load that was taken to a dirt storage area in Edwards while the femur was located at the construction site in Vail.

During recovery of the skull on Friday, County Coroner Kara Bettis says a jawbone and four vertebrae were collected from the Edwards site. Seven detection dogs and their handlers representing law enforcement agencies in Denver as well as Elbert, Garfield and Jefferson counties worked the sites on Saturday to assist with the search. The K-9 teams are trained in finding human remains.

The Vail search area has been focused in and around a utility easement adjacent to the South Frontage Road on the northwest side of the redevelopment site where the excavation is taking place. According to records provided by the town of Vail, utilities were originally installed at the site in 1967. Since then, numerous permits for work within the easement have been processed through the years.


Officials say the case remains an active investigation. Participating agencies include the Vail Police Department, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Colorado Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. In addition, Melissa Connor, archaeologist and associate professor of forensic science from Colorado Mesa University, has been assisting the coroner’s office in the field.

Once the on-site investigation is complete, next steps include work to determine identity as well as cause and manner of death.

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