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Murder victim remains unnamed

Matt Zalaznick

Three full days after the woman, an employee of Keystone’s ski 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 flyers showing photos of the crime scene in the hopes someone remembers seeing something suspicious along the highway Monday evening, when the woman’s body was found by commuters traveling between the Vail Valley and Leadville.



“What we want to do is slow down people traveling between Leadville and

Eagle County, give them flyers 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 p.m. 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 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 ski 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 is also participating in the homicide

investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to called Crimestoppers of Eagle County at 328-7007 or 800-963-TIPS or visit http://www.eaglesheriff.com and click on “extra, extra.”

Matt Zalaznick covers public safety, Eagle County Courts and Avon/ Beaver Creek. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555 ext. 606 or via e-mail at mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.


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